Anonymous donor buys winter coats for New York City students

Art McFarland reports from the Lower East Side.
November 19, 2013 4:02:31 PM PST
It is truly a random act of kindness. A wealthy New Yorker, wanting to remain anonymous, is donating brand new winter coats to hundreds of New York school children.

The children of P.S. 140 had their choice of winter coats Tuesday, a choice some of them would not have, except for the kindness of a stranger.

"We have a lot of families that are in need, so actually these coats are a godsend. We have children that were coming in, in sweaters. Now they will be able to come in coats," said PTA president Cynthia Cartagena.

With a total value of some $10,000, there was a coat for each of the more than 400 students at the school.

"The little ones that just started trying them on, they were just so excited to be in this warmth," said P.S. 140 assistant principal Carmen Fulford.

"It made me choose it 'cause it has my favorite color and it has the right size," said P.S. 140 student Emily Cruz.

These are not hand-me-downs. They are brand new coats, distributed by a not-for-profit that does this kind of thing, but paid for by a wealthy donor who wants to remain anonymous.

The kids at P.S. 140 are deserving for several reasons, including their schoolwork, after helping the school earn an A on its latest progress report.

"These coats are definitely needed, especially for some of our families that really went through a hard and difficult time during Hurricane Sandy, and they're still really trying to pick themselves up," said P.S. 140 principal Esteban Barrientos.

"I feel very thankful for this, like Thanksgiving," said student Ethan Vega.