Girl hosts coat drive for the needy

Published 8:31 pm Saturday, November 12, 2016

Ella Shiner’s warm heart wanted to warm up the less fortunate. So on Saturday, the 10-year-old hosted a coat drive with the goal of collecting 100 coats.

She surpassed that goal in less than two hours.

Ella was overjoyed and decided to push her goal to 200, which she also achieved by the end of her drive, hosted at the New Creation United Methodist Church Aldersgate Campus in Chesapeake.

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“She has a huge heart,” said Michelle Styron, Ella’s mother.

Ella was inspired to do the drive, because she was too young to volunteer at a local soup kitchen with her mother and also due to a Florida-based radio show.

Ella had to be at least 16 years old to volunteer at the soup kitchen, which led her to “make her own idea,” Styron said.

Styron often listens to a radio show with a segment called “Pimpin’ Joy.” The initiative is an attempt to spread joy to the community and to help those in need, Styron said.

Prior to the drive, Styron posted in a Western Branch community Facebook page and received an outpouring of support.

“Everyone’s been very positive,” said Shawn Shiner, Ella’s father.

Before Saturday, Ella had collected more than 30 coats from friends and family. Also, a local community group agreed to donate 70 coats.

“I almost cried,” Ella said.
All of the coats will benefit Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless.

In the future, Ella plans to do more clothes and food drives.

“I’m very proud of my daughter to want to help out the community at such a young age,” Shawn Shiner said.