By Dave Price
If you've been tracking my progress from Alaska and across the Northwest, you know that I've come across an incredible cross-section of generous folks, worked quite a few odd jobs and that I've had some trouble with my jacket.
On day one in Anchorage, I ripped a three inch gash through the front of it. Then, on my way south through Seattle, I left it in a car, never to be seen again.
Late yesterday in Coeur d'Alene, Kiana Sandusky, a youth pastor in town, and her husband Jason, were kind enough to give me a warm (and stylish I might add!) black winter coat. But in my haste to head east, I left that one behind, too, at the hotel where I'd been working as a housekeeper.
Down on my luck and with a chill running through me (not a river), I spent last night in my car, traveling across Montana in a snow storm.
This morning, I found this email from a viewer:
"I've noticed that the theme of your journey is becoming coats. I have been lucky enough with my life, great kids, good income, roof over my head. So each year, I try to do a 'Secret Santa' gift and share it with my kids (30 and 28), just so they know that our family shares the blessings in our lives.
Here's my offer: I will pay you $600. In exchange, you would: A) go to Staples or a stationery store and have 1,000 business cards, postcards or fliers printed, urging people to donate a used coat to the less needy. B) I ask that you use your best efforts to distribute as many of the cards as possible in the next 24 hours.
Why am I doing this? I believe that you have the ears of enough people that my $600 might buy 30 or even 50 coats. I am hoping that you bringing the request to people will multiply the ultimate result of my 'donation' with hundreds of coats. So the good gets spread all around.
Since this is anticipated to be my Secret Santa gift, I ask for anonymity if you accept my offer."
The note brought me to tears. I thought it would be a fitting way to earn the final money it would cost to get home and add another dimension to the trip. It was now not only a fun and adventurous week, it had meaning and made an impact as well.
So with that, I bring to you my final push to make it back on time: The "No Way Home" Drive for Jackets . . . bringing warmth across the country.
My goal is to collect as many new and used coats for the needy in the final days of my journey back to New York. And hopefully the spirit giving which I've been so aware of throughout the country this week will extend far beyond Friday. Thanks for traveling with me today. Good Night.
If You'd Like to Donate:
Already people have started donating. Reed Jones from Bozeman, Mont., dropped off two bags filled with coats this afternoon.
Tomorrow, I'll start in Cincinnati and I'm going to attempt to weave my way back home before the show ends on Friday.
If you have a coat you'd like to donate, I'd love to personally pick it up on my trek home. I'll be passing through the following cities tomorrow and Friday:
Cincinnati Art Museum
The Statehouse, Broad and High St.
Cabela's parking lot, The Highlands Shopping, Dining & Entertainment Complex; Cabela Drive (Exit 10) off I-70
KDKA, One Gateway Center Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222
Harrisburg Mall outside Bass Pro Shop
3601 Paxton Street, Harrisburg, Pa. 17111
The Early Show Plaza
59th and 5th Ave, New York City
If you can't make it to any of the locations, tweet us a picture of the jackets you'll donate (@earlyshowdave) or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.