November 10, 2012
Ashton Ryan is turning 12 and instead of asking for video games for his birthday, he wants to give back to the community. He told his mother he wanted to organize a coat drive.
"I just thought, I know how hard it is to buy a coat with the economy these days," said Ashton. "It's a lot of money. A lot of people grow out of their coats. Why can't they just bring them here and donate them."
Ashton's mother, Kim Ryan, thought the idea was great. She had some hesitations that trying to organize a coat drive in just a few weeks would not work. While trying to plan a pizza party for Ashton's birthday, she ran the coat drive idea by a manager at CiCi's Pizza in Seminole Square.
"The manager said, 'What does he want to do?' I said he would love to do a coat drive and big event for the families and their kids," said Ryan. "He said, 'You know what, why can't we make that happen?'"
The unusual birthday request was granted.
"My mom is a single mom without a job, and I know how hard it was for her to get a coat for me this winter," said Ashton.
Ashton collected 238 coats from the drive to give to local kids.