He may only be in middle school, but Terra Vista eighth grader Charlie Pitner is already doing extraordinary things. At the young age of six, Charlie’s servant heart went to work and created ‘Charlie’s Kids-4-Kids Coat Drive’, an annual coat collection that has handed out more than 5,400 coats to families in need over the last seven years.
Charlie is usually the one giving back through his coat drive, but last week he was the one to receive a special surprise. To help kick start his eighth annual coat drive, KCBD NewsChannel 11 along with WesTex Federal Credit Union made a special stop at Terra Vista to surprise Charlie as their ‘Pay it Forward’ recipient.
“I had no idea what was happening,” Charlie laughed when asked about the surprise.
Filming the surprise, KCBD reporter Julie Castaneda and WesTex Federal Credit Union’s Vicki Love walked into Charlie’s classroom and surprised him in front of his classmates. He was shocked to learn it was a $500 donation to help start his eighth annual coat drive.
“It’s awesome,” said Charlie with a smile. “I think it shows how much the community cares. That $500 is going to make an impact. That’s a lot of coats we can get.”
WesTex hopes the ‘Pay it Forward’ donation will help Charlie reach his goal of collecting 1,000 coats for kids this winter.
“It’s so refreshing to see a young man with such a heart for helping the less fortunate. He’s a fine example of what it means to have a giving heart,” said Vicki. “We are happy to bring some additional awareness to the campaign and help him achieve his goal this year.”
Now until December 15th, Charlie is collecting new or gently used coats of all sizes and colors. Coats can be dropped off at First United Methodist Church, Triple Js, Wentz Orthodontics, Ready-Set-Go and Best In-Home Care. This year the coats will benefit Kingdom Come Ministry.
Click to Watch Charlie’s Surprise: KCBD’s Pay it Forward