LAPD officer gives away coats to South LA children

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With each new coat, there was also a new smile -- 50 of them to be exact at 109th Elementary School.

"It's wonderful. It melts my heart. This is the first year that we have been the recipients of the coats, so our children are ecstatic and it's going to make a lot of children happy," said school principal Ana Estevez.

Officer Jerome Divinity is the man behind the Christmas coats. The traffic cop works South L.A.'s streets, and grew up on them.

"To whom much is given much is required. I truly believe that, and this is just my way of giving back to people in my community," he said.

Divinity will hand out about 150 coats this year to three schools in the area. Divinity pays for all of the coats out of pocket.

"I'm not raising money, it's my own money, coming out of my pocket and it's for a great deed," he said.

The coats will cost Divinity about $1,500 this year. Some kids already have big plans for their new warm outerwear.

"I'll take care of it. When it's raining I'll take it out and play with it," said student Eleazar Medina.

With winter on the way and wet weather already overhead, a coat for Christmas is a gift many of the kids can't wait to try on.

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