Tulsa World News
By BILL SHERMAN
Faith and Values Writer
December 1, 2015
Heather Andrew and her son, Cooper Andrew, 6, sit next to boxes full of donated items at the entrance of McAuliffe Elementary School. Cooper was inspired to collect goods for the homeless after seeing a homeless man standing in the rain. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa WorldHe was an older man, soaked to the skin, standing on a street corner in a heavy rain near Memorial Drive and U.S. 169. His sign read: “Veteran. Can’t find work. Anything will help.”
Six-year-old Cooper Andrew studied his face from the dry security of his mom’s car and started to ask her questions she was reluctant to answer.
“How do people become homeless?”
“Why can’t he get his job back?”
“Cooper is 6,” Heather Andrew said. “I didn’t want to take away his innocence. But he was curious.”
And then Cooper asked his mother: “How about we help them, instead of talking about them?” It could have ended with that encounter last month, but it didn’t. Out of it came Cooper’s List, a project to collect and deliver goods to the homeless, inspired by a 6-year-old.
Heather Andrew was so moved by her son’s compassion that she told the story on her Facebook page that night.
Retelling the story to a reporter, she had to pause to compose herself.
“I get teary-eyed just talking about it because he’s just 6, and he has such a big heart,” she said.
Amanda Gruenberg, Cooper’s first-grade teacher at McAuliffe Elementary School, read the Facebook post that night and decided to get involved.
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