FORT SMITH, Ark. — Update:
Chloe has now collected over 250 blankets and sleeping bags. They will be delivered to The Next Step Homeless Services on Tuesday, Dec. 8., and she is still collecting donations. Chloe and her parents say they are very thankful for all the support they have received. To contribute to the drive, email EDurham@fortsmithschools.org.
A third-grade student at Fairview Elementary has been collecting new or gently used blankets to give out to the homeless in Fort Smith because she wants to make sure those in need are able to stay warm this winter.
Chloe Durham is 8-years-old, and she is making a big difference in her community with "Chloe’s Cozy Drive." Her genuine concern for others is inspiring all those around her.
Blanket donations have been pouring in since Chloe started her drive on World Kindness Day, and she has collected over 100 blankets so far. The last day of the drive is Dec. 5, so there is still time to help Chloe in her effort to help others.
Chloe's parents, Aaron and Emily Durham, both teachers at Fort Smith Public Schools, said Chloe has a huge heart and is always wanting to help others.
The outpouring of love from friends and family has been such a positive light during an otherwise dark time with this pandemic," said Emily. "Chloe is overjoyed every time she checks the front door and finds another blanket or Amazon delivery with her name on it. She just really wants to help the homeless and prays for them at night."
The idea for the drive started when Chloe came home from school one Tuesday in November and asked her to help make posters to put on all their neighbors' doors asking them to drop sleeping bags off for the homeless.
"This melted my heart, but I was too busy to help her with it and said we could think about it over the weekend. That Friday, she came home from school and immediately got to work. She made a sign and showed it to me. I convinced her to let me use social media instead of passing out flyers. That Friday happened to be World Kindness Day, a perfect day to start her big-hearted project," said Emily.
Emily said she is grateful for the friends and family who have donated because they are truly empowering Chloe to do big things.
If you would like to support "Chloe’s Cozy Drive," share her story with the hashtag #bigheartbigthings or email Emily at EDurham@fortsmithschools.org.
Chloe's class made floats as an homage to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Chloe's passion for her cause can be seen in the float she built.