L’Ouverture High School graduate Herbert Keith may live in Luther, but he says part of his heart is still in McAlester.
That’s one reason he’s constantly looking for ways to give back to the community.
“I’m a Christian and I said, ‘Lord, touch my spirit,'” Keith said of how he pondered the best way to give something back. That’s when he felt inspired to offer coats and other clothing to those who might need them.
“They need some heat,” Keith said.
Keith and other volunteers went to work collecting coats and other warm clothing and are now ready to share them with McAlester area residents, free of charge.
The Overture Historical Center Coat and Clothes Giveaway is scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19, at the Ridgecrest Community Center, 1500 E. Chickasaw Ave. It is located in the vicinity of Hunter Park and the old. L’Overture School.
Keith said all items will be delivered at no cost to the recipient, with no income guidelines or other requirements.
“We are open to the public,” Keith said. “It’s for anyone, any age, any race, any size.” Participants can only try on one coat and select the one they like.
“We’ll have everything from plus sizes to kids,” Keith said. Most of the coats and other items were donated by individuals and are previously owned, but are in good condition, he said. Some of the previously owned items were never used and still have the tags.
There will be more than just coats and other clothing available.
“We’ll have hot dogs and sodas while they last,” Keith said.
Keith, who is valedictorian of the L’Ouverture High School Class of 1965, is part of a group trying to restore the L’Ouverture school building. He said the group has received help from a range of volunteers, from members of the McAlester Buffaloes football team to McAlester police officers, with plenty of additional volunteer help in between.
He said the community has been so helpful in helping with the ongoing L’Ouverture project, which led to the coat sourcing to give something back in return.
“That’s the mission, to do something for this school, but also benefit the community,” he said.
Keith offered directions to those who may not be familiar with the Ridgecrest layout and do not know exactly where the Ridgecrest Community Center is located at 1500 E. Chickasaw Avenue within the apartment complex.
“When you go east on Chickasaw at the apartment complex, it’s the first building on the south side of the street,” Keith said.
Contact James Beaty at email@example.com.