Donate coats for local kids at men’s basketb...

Donate coats for local kids at men’s basketball game Thursday (+VIDEO)

MTSU head men’s golf coach Whit Turnbow created a social media blizzard with a tweet, and the community’s warm hearts are answering.

Noticing a young man waiting for a school bus in the bitter 6-degree weather last Friday morning, Turnbow turned to Twitter.

Whit Turnbow, MTSU head men’s golf coach, talks about the effort to collect warm coats for local children in a new video. Watch it by clicking on the photo.

“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. “If you know someone like this DM me and I will personally see to it that they get a new coat.”

“Twelve hours later, I had dozens and dozens of requests for jackets from all over the county, mainly from teachers,” the coach explained. “I had so many requests that we thought we need to take this to another level.”

In less than 24 hours, that tweet had drawn more than 100 requests for coats for local children and thousands of dollars in donations to buy them.

The outpouring of help from the community has continued this week, and the Blue Raider athletic department is providing another avenue for people to donate coats at Thursday’s men’s basketball game against East Carolina. The game is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 30 in Hale Arena inside Murphy Center; the doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Donors may drop off clean, new or gently used coats in children’s sizes at any entrance to Murphy Center on Thursday at the game. Fans can also drop off coats at the MTSU Athletic Department offices inside Murphy Center anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Monetary donations also are welcome, organizers said.

MT Lightning logoFunds for students in the Murfreesboro City Schools system can be directed to Murfreesboro City Schools Indigent Children’s Fund, 2552 S. Church St., Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37127 or by calling 615-893-2313. Rutherford County Schools will accept donations at the Rutherford County Schools Clothing Charity Fund, 2240 Southpark Drive, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 37128 or by calling 615-898-5812.

“I have been overwhelmed with requests through Twitter and Facebook, and it really shows the giving spirit that our community has in time of need,,” Turnbow said. “Our goal is to make sure there is not a single kid without a coat, and I plan to make that happen.

“We don’t want to just meet this need that’s in front of us; we want to destroy this need. We want to obliterate this need so that the city and county school systems have extra, more coats than they’ll ever need.”

You can watch a video of Turnbow discussing the coat project here.

For more information visit, follow @MTAthletics on Twitter or call the MTSU Athletic Department at 615-898-2450.

— MTSU Athletics (