The “True Blue Turnbow Coat Project” is back to keep local children warm this winter with the help of the MTSU community.
Senior Associate Athletic Director Whit Turnbow’s coat drive, launched in January 2014 with a concerned tweet, collected more than 1,000 winter coats for local children in that inaugural effort and another 1,250-plus coats in a second drive in December 2014.
The Blue Raider athletic department will be collecting coats in Murphy Center at home basketball games on Thursday, Dec. 17.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this outreach again this year,” said Turnbow. “There are over 1,000 documented homeless children in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, and we want to make sure that they can at least stay warm this winter.
“So many of the things we take for granted, such as grabbing a coat on our way out the door on a frigid day, are not an option for others. As a community, we can have a huge impact on this need.”
Donors are encouraged to drop off clean, gently used or new coats at any entrance to Murphy Center on Dec. 17.
Fans also can drop off coats at the MTSU Athletic Department offices inside Murphy Center anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
The Dec. 17 women’s basketball game against Missouri State will begin at 11 a.m., followed by the men’s game against Belmont at 6 p.m. Doors will open 90 minutes before each game.
Other coat drop-off locations around Murfreesboro include:
- Murfreesboro City Schools offices, 2553 S. Church St.
- Rutherford County Schools offices, 2240 Southpark Drive.
- Dr. Walter Chitwood’s Implant and General Dentistry of Middle Tennessee, 1110 W. Clark Blvd.
Murfreesboro City Schools and Rutherford County Schools will help distribute the coats via teacher referrals at each school. Adult coats will be delivered to area homeless shelters.
The “True Blue Turnbow Coat Project” began when Turnbow, then the head men’s golf coach, saw a little boy waiting for a school bus in bitter 6-degree weather.
“Thinking about the kids who don’t have a warm place to wait on the bus or a winter jacket,” he tweeted from @CoachWTurnbow Jan. 24, 2014. “If you know someone like this DM me and I will personally see to it that they get a new coat.”
In less than 24 hours, that tweet had drawn more than 100 requests for coats for local children, along with thousands of dollars in donations to buy them.
You can watch Turnbow’s thank-you video for last winter’s coat project below.
Tax-deductible monetary donations also can be mailed to Turnbow at MTSU Box 77, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. Checks should be made payable to Mulligan Ministries, Turnbow said.
For more information, contact Cathy Vaughn in the Middle Tennessee Athletic Department at 615-898-2452. You can also learn more at GoBlueRaiders.com.
— MTSU Athletics (GoBlueRaiders.com)