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Father collecting winter clothes for TPS students

Posted at 6:49 PM, Dec 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-11 19:49:23-05

TULSA -- A father is turning the tragedy of losing his son into helping others.

"Jakob was really the inspiration….and it’s really just…coming together," said Terry Kellam, the founder of Jakob's Journey.

Terry Kellam lost his son, Jakob, over the summer. One of the things they did together was help those experiencing homelessness by handing out supplies and hygiene kits.

"Seeing the kids coming through that didn’t have anything and were so happy to have a book, it really does kind of open your eyes," said Kellam.

Kellam says losing a child could bring anyone into a dark hole, but he’s channeling his energy into something positive by collecting winter supplies for the nearly 800 students in the Tulsa school district who identify as homeless.

"They could be couch surfing or living in a hotel, or out of a car, or a friend’s house," said Kellam.

One of the drop off locations is Lotus Sandwich Eatery and Bar downtown. They have an employee who benefited from a similar donation drive when she didn't have a place to call home when she was growing up. It's kindness coming full circle, after she donated several items to Kellam’s drive.

"She and her grandmother collect things every year and she said she was really excited to know that it was going towards kids be cause they put this hygiene kits together and things like that," said Brooklyn Adams, General Manager of Lotus Sandwich Eatery and Bar.

Kellam always taught his son to be thankful for what you have.

"Being 12, it’s that age of coming up and kind of knowing how lucky you are," said Kellam.

That’s why he started a nonprofit, Jakob’s Journey, to continue that message and pay it forward to those in need.

"I’m trying to get a lot of these clothes and items distributed before the winter break to try to get those kids, keep them warm," said Kellam.

They’ll be collecting items until January. They're collecting coats, gloves, scarves, socks, sweaters, and other cold weather clothes. You can also drop off items to fill 'blessing kits' such as toothbrush, toothpaste, Chapstick, travel-size lotion, deodorant, and tampons/pads.

The five locations are the Education Service Center, Lotus Sandwich Eatery and Bar, and the three Fleet Feet locations (downtown Tulsa, Kingspointe, and Broken Arrow).

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