Seventeen year old children tend to think about school, sports, or what they are going to do on a Friday night. Destiny Coates is one 17 year old that sees the much bigger picture.

Destiny is a junior at Bridge City High, participates in Ready, Set, Teach and is a senior cheerleader and junior cheer coach at The Next Level Cheer. She has participated in many pageants but she also does something more to give back to the community.

She volunteered last summer for the Red Cross at the Baptist hospital in Orange. When she was eight, she adopted three grandparents the Orange Retirement Home. Destiny and her mother, Angie, would take the grandparents shopping, give them gifts and even bought them Christmas trees. Destiny also volunteered with Feed the Children when she was eight years old. . “I had a little boy and girl that I fed,” Destiny said.

Destiny and her mother recently visited the Women’s and Children’s Shelter in Orange. “It really broke our hearts because I knew some of the kids that were in there,” Angie said. “I used to baby sit some of them.”

Destiny also visited the Girls Haven with a friend and found out that the children there didn’t get much, if anything, for Christmas last year. After realizing how hard life really can be, she decided that she wanted to make a difference.

“I have everything and they don’t get much,” Destiny said. “I am very grateful for what I have.”
So for the first time, Destiny and her mother are putting together Destiny Angel Bags. These bags are small, black purses or purse size travel bags that will have age appropriate goodies for the children that live in the Women’s and Children’s Shelter, Boys and Girls Haven and the Orange homeless shelter.

Destiny and Angie will call each location on Dec. 15 to see how many children there are, the ages and genders so they can make each bag for a specific child. Little boys will get things like race cars and teenage girls will get make-up . Angie and Destiny received 12 silver bags that they will use to give toiletry products to the mothers at the Women’s and Children’s Shelter.

They will then deliver these bags in time for Christmas.

“Everyone deserves to have something on Christmas,” Destiny said. “Even if it’s not much, at least they’ll have that on Christmas. “

The bags will be black so that no one will get a color they don’t like or feel like someone else got a prettier or better bag. Several boxes have been set up around the community for donations to be made. Destiny is asking that the donated bags be slightly used or new. The community is also encouraged to donate items to go in the bags.

Donation boxes in Bridge City have been set up at Farmers Insurance, Allstate, Trendz, Clayton’s Consignment, Twins Resale and The Next Level Cheer, all on Texas Ave. in Bridge City. The donation box for Orange is at The Record Newspapers on Henrietta, next to Harmon Used Cars. The Record Newspapers office will be closed on Wednesdays.

All of the donation boxes will be picked up Wednesday, Dec. 15.

“We asking people who have left over garage sale bags, slightly new or used, donate these items,” Angie said. “Or they can donate make up, bubbles, toys , just anything to put in these bags.”

They haven’t received many donations yet. Even if they don’t receive many more, Destiny plans on using her Christmas money to purchase the bags and the goodies to fill them with.

“I’d rather give [the children] stuff than have a bunch of presents under my tree,” Destiny said.
“I think it’s great and it will be life changing,” Angie said.

“Why not help those that need help? I’ve always wanted to change the world,” Destiny said.
Destiny plans on going to college to become a certified Teacher’s Aide for Special Needs Children.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers