A random act of kindness prompts a Minn. youth to go the extra mile

Posted at 8:43 PM, Dec 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-19 20:43:35-05

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- During the holidays, it can be easy to fall into a gift-shopping, gift-giving frenzy. But it's also a time when we see people make donations to those in need. Nate Dreyfus, a fourth grader, who was so moved by a random act of kindness, set his sights to accomplish something even bigger.

“There was this man, he got out of his car and took off his jacket and gave it to a man on the street," Dreyfus said. The nine-year-old added that the moment got him thinking.

“I felt really good inside that they did that, so I wanted to start doing something like they did," he explained.

So Dreyfus decided to start a campaign of his own by putting out donation boxes in his neighborhood in Stillwater, Minn. And...

“My mom gave an email to everyone in our neighborhood to bring coats to our house and put them in a box,” he said.

And, as it turns out, they did. In fact, in a matter of days, 79 coats piled up.

“They said it was really touching,” Dreyfus said.

The Dreyfus family donated all the coats to Project Home, a program run by the St. Paul Area Council of Churches. They help homeless families living in shelters.

“Nate came in with bag upon bag, filled my office with coats, a monetary donation on top of that. So we could purchase the things we need that we don't get donated. It was wonderful,” said Sara Liegl, the director of Project Home.

Dreyfus also collected about $300 from folks who wanted to contribute to his coat drive.

Dreyfus and his 12-year-old sister Anna returned to Project Home today, with more coats and jackets. And learned their original donation has already been given to people who came in, looking for warm clothes.

“I feel, it's just really heartwarming," he said.