10-Year-Old Girl Collects Hundreds of Coats for Youth in Foster Care

By Jesse Colman, Treehouse Marketing Intern

When Julia Sandusky was 8 years old, she saw a Mattress Firm commercial asking for donations of warm clothing for kids in foster care. Having never even heard of foster care before, something about this commercial really motivated her. So she went to her parents with the idea to make artwork, sell it and then use the money to buy 25 coats for youth in foster care.

“Kids have a lot of ideas. They just sort of go in and then they go out,” said Julia’s mother, Kim.

But two weeks later, Julia came back to her parents with a pile of artwork ready to sell.

“I just heard the commercial and wanted to start,” said Julia, now 10.

So her parents took to their Facebook pages and posted a video of Julia explaining her artwork and her cause.

Her artwork sold, and that first year, Julia would go on to more than double her goal, collecting a total of 70 coats.

“Every year she makes her goal of what she collects, and every year, her father and I are like, ‘I don’t know Julia. That’s a lot.’ And every year, she blows it out of the park,” Kim said. “She’s just kind of a go-getter, and she works hard.”

Wrapping up her third season, Julia collected a total of 587 coats for various organizations including Treehouse. The young philanthropist is the driving force behind the program now called Jackets from Julia, but she would be the first to tell that she couldn’t do this alone.

“My Girl Scout Troop and my church help me collect coats,” Julia said. “A group my mom has on Facebook, called Buy Nothing, helps me, too.”

This year she even had U253, a U2 cover band, invite her to come speak and raffle off her artwork at one of their concerts.

“On her Facebook page, we say the words ‘kindness is contagious.’ That just seems to be true every time. She could not be do what she’s doing without the generosity of other people supporting her,” Kim said.

Thanks to Julia’s kindness and leadership in her community, this winter, warm coats will make their way to the racks of The Wearhouse, our free store for youth in foster care.

Want to get more involved? Contact Dana Petrarca, Treehouse’s Community Engagement Officer, at [email protected] if you are interested in hosting a donation drive or event on behalf of Treehouse.

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About the Author

Jesse Colman is an intern at Treehouse. He is passionate about building relationships, storytelling and community development.

Comments (3)

Chere M. Sandusky

December 8, 2017

Julia is my grand daughter. I am very, very proud of her!!! This is a very nice article. Thank you.



December 8, 2017

YEAH! Thank you so much for sharing Julia’s story! We are just about to go shopping for a few more coats to end this year!


Betty Bell

December 9, 2017

What a wonderful girl Julia is
An inspiration for all to repeat.Well done Julie and to all of your helpers.
Betty from the UK.


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