Everyday Heroes: TJ Stanton

Bergen County teen TJ Stanton stepped up in a big way to help hundreds of people keep warm this winter. (2/17/14)

RUTHERFORD - A Bergen County teen stepped up in a big way to help hundreds of people keep warm this winter, making him this week's Everyday Hero on News 12 New Jersey.

It started as TJ Stanton's Eagle Scout project. He wanted to help collect some coats for the statewide Jersey Cares coat drive, and he set an original goal of 100.

"With coats, every individual coat is another person you're helping," says Stanton. "So I really liked the idea of that.  Whatever number of coats I would collect, that's the amount of people I would help."

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Stanton manned one of Jersey Cares' more than 500 collection sites. He stationed himself at the Rutherford Library site for two days and hoped for the best.

Stanton got an outpouring of donations. One person dropped off about 35 coats, he estimates, while another donated the coat right off of his back. He wound up collecting a total of 300 coats over two days.

Jersey Cares says it's on track to reach its goal of collecting 60,000 coats for the needy this winter.

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