Josiah Lawson winter coat drive on Dec. 10

(Front to back) Romi Hitchcock Tinseth, Crane Conso and Marlene Dusek, part of the J4J team with newly stenciled bags to distribute at the Dec. 10 coat drive. Photo courtesy of J4J team.

A coat drive will be held in honor of David Josiah Lawson on Dec. 10 from 3 – 5 p.m. in the Arcata Plaza. The drive is taking place for the fifth year in a row and seeks to help those that are in need of supplies to make it through Humboldt’s harsh winter months.

The drive is accepting donations of new coats and coats that are in good clean condition, sleeping bags, blankets, towels and washcloths. They are also looking for toiletries like toothpaste, soap and feminine hygiene products. As well as, food that does not require cooking, refrigeration or a can opener will also be accepted and distributed at the Justice for Josiah Coat Drive.

Donations can be delivered to Students for Violence Prevention on Cal Poly Humboldt campus, contact romi@humboldt.edu to arrange on campus donations or to Arcata City Hall, 736 F St. Arcata.

Charmaine Lawson started the drive in 2017 after coming to Humboldt and passing out fliers with information about her sons murder. An unhoused man recognized him on the flier and told her that her son had given a slice of pizza to the man.

“He showed love and empathy and I felt like that was a beautiful story,” Lawson said. She wants the coat drive to benefit the unhoused and students who may need the support during this time of the year.

“They need it all the time but the holiday season is where it gets really difficult for a lot of people,” Lawson said. “I don’t have my son to spend the holiday with, so in memory of him I just want to help as much as I can.”

Lawson is also looking for help packing and handing out bags on the day of the event. Volunteers can message Charmaine Lawson through the Justice for Josiah facebook or email romi@humboldt.edu to volunteer.

Romi Hitchcock-Tinseth, a lecturer at Cal Poly Humboldt department of communication, became involved with the Justice for Josiah movement after attending vigils and reaching out to Charmaine.

“Just image how you would feel if your child/loved one was murdered and their killer walked the streets of our community, free,” Hitchcock-Tinseth said. “No parent would give up that fight and no community should either.”

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