Annual Ashton's Birthday Wish Coat Drive Held in Charlottesville

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Donations during Ashton's Birthday Wish Coat Drive 2018 Donations during Ashton's Birthday Wish Coat Drive 2018
Ashton Ryan Ashton Ryan
Kim Ryan Kim Ryan
Ashton Ryan receiving a flag of support from local law enforcement Ashton Ryan receiving a flag of support from local law enforcement

Family and friends of a Charlottesville teenager are again working to keep folks warm during the colder months.

Since 2012, Ashton Ryan and volunteers have come together for Ashton's Birthday Wish Coat Drive.

“It’s just one small idea that just brought everybody in the community together, and I’m just so glad that this happened,” said the organizer. “So, for the past 7 years we’ve collected over 12,000 coats and distributed them to families and other organizations around town, and it’s just an awesome thing.”

They gathered at Moose's By the Creek Restaurant Saturday, October 13, to collect donations for several hours.

The people who benefit from the coat drive can live in Charlottesville, or anywhere in the state.

“You know a coat is a big purchase, and if we can just take that off of anybody, you know, they don’t have to worry about that purchase, and that’s just a helping hand for any family,” said Kim Ryan, Ashton’s mother. “You can have a great job, and still just need a helping hand, and that’s just what we’re there for.”

Over the summer, Ashton gave a blue flag to his grandfather, a supporter of law enforcement.

The flag was stolen a month later.

At the coat drive Saturday, police officers from Albemarle County and Charlottesville gave back to Ashton, presenting him with a replacement flag.

“I was really shocked, you know. When the flag got stolen I was pretty sad, but now that I have another one it’s really awesome, especially when it was given to me by the police,” Ashton said.

Ashton's Wish will be placing donation boxes at several businesses in the community from October 15 through November 15. Those locations include: Tiger Fuel Markets, Applebees on Pantops, Bremo Auctions at Pantops, and Moose By the Creek Restaurant.

Ashton plans on having another coat drive in Ruckersville on November 17.

If you are in need of a coat, all you need to do is email ashtonswish@aol.com with your needs.