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An entire school is surprised with new winter gear at Mountain View Elementary

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 4:51 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Students at Mountain View Elementary got a belated Christmas present on Tuesday: new coats, hats and gloves printed with the school’s Mustang logo.

The winter gear, enough for all the school’s elementary students, was purchased by a substitute teacher who started a GoFundMe campaign after noticing many of the students weren’t properly outfitted for the cold.

“I got here, and I was like, oh my gosh, you know, I can help these kids,” said James Cornelison, known to everyone as “Coach Wes” after a decade of coaching youth sports. “... At the minimum, I can do a coat drive.”

Cornelison said his wife gave him the idea to start a GoFundMe, which paid off in a big way.

“I know a lot of rich people, and I said ‘write a check’. And we did, we raised over $12,000 in a little over a few weeks,” he said.

Cornelison used the money to order 300 coats, plus hats and gloves. A local company, ACD and Retail, agreed to put the logos on for free. He said he’d hoped to get the gear to students before the Christmas break, but supply chain issues held up the large order for weeks.

On Tuesday morning, Cornelison surprised the students with their new coats in the school gym and said the wait was worth it to see them smile. At the very least, he said, they’re better prepared to face whatever the weather might bring.

Editor’s note: Alaska’s News Source makes no representations or warranties of any kind about the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of any GoFundMe campaign. Any donations you make to such campaigns are strictly at your own risk. If you have any questions related to the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of a GoFundMe campaign, please contact GoFundMe directly or consult the GoFundMe Guarantee Policy.

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