Ten years ago, Serge Haitayan watched as Fancher Creek Elementary School school students exited a bus during the cold winter months wearing T-shirts. The owner of 7-Eleven at Clovis and Belmont avenues saw a need and addressed it.
For the 10th consecutive year, Haitayan delivered winter coats to Bakman, Turner, Fancher Creek and Temperance-Kutner elementary schools.
“My store is on Clovis and Belmont, and I’m giving back to the community where we make our living,” he said.
His family typically buys 500 new coats to distribute among the four schools, “but this year we went a little crazy,” he said. Haitayan gave out 837 coats today, bringing his total of coats distributed since 2007 to more than 5,250.
“This year the schools requested larger sizes,” Haitayan said. “Younger ones get hand-me-downs, but older kids don’t. A majority of the coats were in sizes 18, 16 and 14 with some in smaller sizes.”
The family also gives out dozens of turkeys to schools before Christmas to help families in need.