Abraham's Tent

Parker Nyboer, a student at Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, collected coats for the needy and donated them to Abraham’s Tent director Pearl Cole on Monday.

The giving and charitable spirit seen by many in the Lake Charles community has come around again in the form of donated coats to go to those who need it most as the weather gets colder.

Parker Nyboer, a junior at Catholic High in Baton Rouge, collected 208 coats from his community and drove with his mother to personally bring them to Abraham’s Tent in Lake Charles on Monday,  along with a check and cash donation.

“My mom is from Lake Charles and my Mimi lives here, as well, so we have a lot of family and friends here. We only live two hours away, so it’s still a personal thing with Louisiana. We want to give back how they helped, as well, so I figured it would be a good idea to help people and it was getting cold, so I figured they’re gonna need coats,” explained Parker. “It’s a great thing to do, I wasn’t intending to be interviewed or anything at all, I haven’t told anyone at school, either. It’s just good to give back because I often feel like I’m too privileged and I don’t give back enough to the community, and this was a great thing to do; I feel like I’m helping others.”

“We’re just thrilled to be able to give back, I mean, people have suffered so terribly here and we’re just happy to be able to give back,” expressed Karen Nyboer, Parker’s mother.

She explained how they gathered about 95 coats from school and the rest from family, friends, the neighborhood and the neuromedical center her husband works at along with clinics and hospitals.

The Kiwanis Club’s yearly coat drive, Coats for Kids, was unable to happen due to the recent school shutdowns. Steve Ek, chairman of the Coats for Kids for 35 years, spoke on Parker’s contribution and described it as a “Godsend out of the blue.”

“This is an unexpected, wonderful surprise and certainly the community of Lake Charles appreciates the work that went into this to make it happen,” Ek said. “It means a lot. We’ve given out some coats, but we didn’t have enough. We didn’t have larger sizes. And now we’ll be able to meet more needs. It’s hard to say ‘no, I don’t have a coat to fit you.

 Pearl Cole, director at Abraham’s Tent for the past 30 years, said ] she was thankful that whenever there was a need in the community that “there’s always someone willing to help.”

Abraham’s Tent, located at 2424 Fruge St. in Lake Charles, provides hot meals and clothes Monday through Saturday. The hours are 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. for lunch, but they can receive donations at the building from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. They currently need coats and blankets as the weather grows colder.

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