Too Many Coats

When the weather starts to turn cold it happens –the students at my elementary school start losing their coats and hoodies. Most of the time it’s innocent enough; kids get too hot on the playground, or in the gym, and the coats come off. Sometimes they remember to pick them up. Sometimes they don’t.

The photo above is the result of 90 minutes of work by yours truly. There are about 120 winter garments on the rack, plus a large trash bag full.

Not all of these articles of clothing come from discount stores. I found two “The North Face” jackets and one “Columbia,” plus several name brand hoodies. Some of these retail for over $100 new.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts to return them, we end up with a couple of hundred coats at the end of the school year.

2021 unclaimed coats donated to charity.

I’m not saying our kids are unthankful. Unthoughtful is more like it. They have plenty of clothes, so they don’t miss a coat or two, or even three.

The longer I hung up left behind coats and hoodies, the more irritated I became. I thought of my blogger friend Matt, from jesusluvsall, who helps refugees–many from war-torn countries. Surely more of them would be grateful for a good coat. I was tempted to push the whole rack into my van and drive to Nebraska

Give thanks no matter what happens. God wants you to thank Him because you believe in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIRV)

Kind reader, I’m not unthankful for what I have. Unthoughtful is more like it. I seldom consider the fact that I have seven coats, while my Ukrainian neighbor is grateful for just one.

Thoughtful thankfulness; that’s a good description of gratitude.







34 responses to “Too Many Coats”

  1. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It’s only 8 hours—a day’s drive. Steak and coffee sounds great! It’s a shame to see all lost coats sitting on a rack.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jesusluvsall Avatar

    Yes drive up and we can go eat steak and drink coffee 🙂
    Refugees are always happy to receive winter clothing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. davidsdailydose Avatar

    We try to return them but it’s not always possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dawn Avatar

    That’s a lot of coats. I am glad you could donate them. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. davidsdailydose Avatar

    It puzzles me too, brother. We have a closed campus—parents can’t just walk in—but you’d think they would call and then make sure their child came home with a coat. As a young graduate student I remember having little money for food. I was grateful for every church pot luck dinner. God’s best to the Kearns clan. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alan Kearns Avatar

    This is an eye opening post David; I just can’t think of all these parents not asking where their kids coat is that they went to school in that morning. I know when money was tight for us we kept close tabs on school clothing. I even remember as a young unemployed man I often shopped in charity shops for winter jumpers etc, it was the way I survived then. It is the memory of such times that make us grateful for what we have today, we truly are blessed by His provisions today! God bless you and your family today brother 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  7. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for sharing, Beth. Humble beginnings certainly fuel gratitude. I grew up in a small farming community with two teacher parents. My three brothers and I had one winter coat at a time with some gloves and a hat. Prosperity can be both blessing and curse.

    Happy Thanksgiving to the Alisan family! God Bless.


  8. Beth Alisan Avatar

    I like that alliterative definition of gratitude David- Thoughtful thankfulness. I’m helping my parents sort through slides. My mom and I were laughing about the winter gear us kids grew up using. Mom always selected neutral colors because coats, scarves, boots were handed down to the next child. There were several instances when we couldn’t figure out the kid in the snow because at one point we had all worn that red coat or brown snow suit. Oh and if you lost a glove, you didn’t throw its mate away. You went to the basket of unpaired gloves and found one that you hoped look similar enough. I still find myself doing that today. You might catch me walking the dogs with one red glove and one black. LOL Humble beginnings certainly fuels gratitude.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. davidsdailydose Avatar

    You’re welcome! Thank you for reading and commenting. It was 30 degrees Fahrenheit the day I gathered up the coats, but everyone seemed to have one. Our excess is some folk’s necessity.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Don't Lose Hope Avatar

    It’s so easy to forget just how much we have! We are so blessed – with far more than we need. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. SimplyB Avatar

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! We spent the past 3 wks volunteering at a camp located in your fair state. I need to catch up on my blog reading…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. SimplyB Avatar

    I hit the return button too quickly….so I added more in a reply to my reply. 🤦‍♀️


  13. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks, SimplyB! I’ve heard that self storage units weren’t such a big thing in the U. S. until the early 1960’s. Affluence is definitely a mixed bag. Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. SimplyB Avatar

    Well my thumb hit the return button too soon…. We are a country of excess, blatantly accumulating stuff. There are no storage units in Guatemala that we saw. In fact storage units would be luxurious to live in compared to most of the homes we saw

    Liked by 1 person

  15. SimplyB Avatar

    Great post, David! I have the same feelings about storage units in the USA. We traveled to Guatemala several years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thanks! And the same to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. God Still Speaks Avatar

    I am grateful for a friend like you who speaks the Truth to us! Blessings on you and your family this holiday season!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Everyone should think like an accountant and keep their ledgers of “stuff “ up to date. There are plenty of needy people out there.
    Happy Thanksgiving, friend! His best to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I’m with you, Pete. I once found a dad of a student digging through a pile of coats. His son had lost all four of his coats at school, and dad (not kid) was looking for them. 🙄

    We usually wait until the end
    of the year, after several notices to come look through the coats, before giving them away. But, again, I’m with you—get them to children who can’t do without them.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Pastor Pete!


  20. God Still Speaks Avatar

    Well done! On both the post and the time spent gathering loose coats. Every year before the beginning of a season, I sort through my closet and see what has not been worn, and then put it in a bag to go to the thrift store that gives jobs to mentally handicapped adults, or to the food bank, who also provides to the community.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. pastorpete51 Avatar

    Yeah, not in our house with my mom. “Where’s your coat? Now turn around and march right back to school and get your coat young man!” I can hear it all in my mind though mom is long since gone. Where in the world are the parents who bought those coats? Maybe find a good charity in the area and donate them at Christmas. All that being said, it is a great picture of our need for thankfulness Dave. So, what else can I say but “Thank you!”

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Gary Fultz Avatar

    A good perspective David.
    Sounds like my grandkids are related to some of those kids.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Indeed, Manette Kay. When I was a kid I had one winter coat. If I lost it, my father would have said, “Well, you can do without one until you find it.” He may have looked the other way when my mom sent me to school in one of my older brother’s hand me downs, but I knew I’d best find my coat and fast!

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. musingsofmanettekay Avatar

    Too many coats, conjures thoughts of the literal. . . too many coats. If all those students who left behind their coats only had one coat they would likely not forget it or they would remember to bring it home the next day.

    I recently heard a quote, “More than you need is greed.” I’ve found it a good thought to ponder when cleaning a closet, drawer, or room. Ask oneself, “do I have too much/many ________ ?”

    Liked by 2 people

  25. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you, Manu. Some things I should be thankful for are like misplaced coats. I just need to stop, think about it, and count my blessings. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Manu Avatar

    What a good reminder to be thoughtful in addition to be thankful. Looking at all those coats left by the kids made me think of when my son was that age. He would have been the first one to lose his coat.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. davidsdailydose Avatar

    I checked every coat, Betty. They are all kid sized. I like your thought about not wasting other things. There are many people in the world it would be glad to have our leftovers. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Betty Avatar

    David, many of these coats look larger than elementary children would wear. But your point is well taken. I think the same thing about food. Dan and I work hard not to waste food. We do end up wasting some – mostly because things go out of date – but according to statistics the amount of food wasted is unbelievable to me. At least coats can be given to those in need. Thank you for your post and reminding me to be thoughtful and grateful for what we have – and to share with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Bridget A. Thomas Avatar

    Thank you! I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving also!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. davidsdailydose Avatar

    My school is large—almost 1300 students. I’m sure this makes our lost and found department bigger.
    My US Air Force chaplain friend once saw children in Armenia digging through a land fill looking for anything of value. It was a scene he said he’d never forget.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Bridget. God Bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Bridget A. Thomas Avatar

    Wow! That’s a lot of coats. I remember one year when I accidentally left my sweater at school, and it was the last day of school. My mother, sister, and I went back to look for it, but we never found it. I think someone took it home. But I was so surprised to see how much stuff was all over the place. The school looked trashed with piles of school supplies, books, clothing, etc. Lots of perfectly good items, just left behind. I work with a lady from India and she told me once how they always try to reuse something. They don’t trash things like we do. Thank you for this encouraging post to have thoughtful thankfulness!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. davidsdailydose Avatar

    Thank you for reading and commenting, Rainer. This one was easier to write because Nancy and I just donated several trash bags of unneeded stuff to charity. There was a coat in one of those bags I hadn’t worn in years.
    Have a blessed Thanksgiving, brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. The Devotional Guy™ Avatar

    I think many of us have an abundance of blessings stashed in our closets. I know I do. I keep reminding myself that one day I need to clean out that corner and share these things I no longer use with those who need them more than I do now.
    Thanks for this convicting encouragement, David.

    Liked by 1 person

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