As the weather turns cold, a local nonprofit is keeping hundreds of Roanoke students warm with clothing and encouragement.
Humble Hustle Co. donated 160 new winter coats to Hurt Park Elementary students after launching the drive in late October.
Founded in Roanoke in 2015, Humble Hustle provides counseling and other forms of support to local communities, including schoolchildren. The organization raises funds and sells clothing with positive messaging to aid its efforts, founder and CEO Xavier Duckett said.
The group has initiatives to help students in their pursuit of college, and empower young girls. The nonprofit also has a program called “Humble Hike,” to expose inner city youth to outdoor recreation, Duckett said.
Duckett credited the nonprofit’s team of 11 board members, a program manager and program director for the organization’s success.
Duckett also runs a mentorship program to work with at-risk students in Roanoke. In 2016, he noticed some students weren’t wearing the proper attire despite low temperatures around bus stops.
“There was an influx of kids who would come to school with just a T-shirt or a fleece, and you could just tell they didn’t have the necessary clothes,” Duckett said. “If you can do something, why not do it?”
The organization has since given more than 750 coats to students at Lincoln Terrace, Hurt Park and Fairview elementary schools in Roanoke and Roanoke County’s Burlington Elementary School through donation drives, Duckett said.
Initially, Duckett said many of the coats were lightly worn.
“I said, ‘How about we do better, and get brand new coats,’ ” Duckett said. “Everyone, at some point, deserves to pop that tag knowing it’s a new coat and it’s for them.”
Duckett said the organization worked with local businesses to set up drop-off locations for the coats. The results over the years demonstrate how a community can rally behind a good cause, he said.
“It let us know the community supports us, and that the work we do is not in vain,” Duckett said.