By Donna Bain
Jim Cole was known as a man who would give you the shirt off his back. He was a minister from the Elrod/Echola area. He became ill and was hospitalized during the pandemic and later died from Covid. Jim’s grandson, Thomas Cole, was in high school at the time. Cole was not notified of his grandfather’s hospitalization. By the time he found out, the hospital was shut down for visitors. He did not get to visit with his grandfather before he passed away in 2020. Cole mourned for his grandfather but wanted to do something in his honor. He talked with his dad, J.C. Bryant, about what he could do. Bryant encouraged Cole to start a foundation named the Jim Cole Foundation for Giving or Jimmy Gives.
As part of this foundation, Cole started a winter coat drive at his school, which at the time was North River Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa. He felt it was successful because almost 150 coats were donated. Cole contacted the Tuscaloosa County Baptist Association, and they put them in touch with their Christian Ministry Center on Watermelon Road in Tuscaloosa, where the coats were distributed. Last year, during the coat drive, they received 450 items and were able to reach more people. Cole sent a third of the items to New Orleans to be delivered to homeless people by a missionary there.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.