Show You Care Spotlight: Keeping the Kids Warm

By Marlon Hall, Photojournalist

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - It's all about keeping them comfortable. Everyday, 82-year-old Billie Cooley opens her garage door so kids in her neighborhood can stay warm and dry as they wait for the school bus.

More than a dozen children race down the street in the morning, skipping and playing as they make their way to her house. All the kids she greets are nine years of age or younger.

"When it's cold, or windy, snowing and raining, I just open my garage door for them," Cooley said.

The humble woman says she enjoys all the kids. She even keeps a temperature gauge and clock in her garage so the kids can see the time and temp as they wait.

"When you live alone it's nice to have a distraction like all the little kids coming," Cooley said.

This friendly neighbor has been opening her doors to keep the kids from suffering in the cold for about five years.

"I like Ms. Cooley because she is nice and sweet and she lets us stay in the garage where it is nice and warm instead of staying out there like regular bus stops so we can stay where the warm is," one of the neighbor kids said.

"Her real name is Billie and when she was little they called her Billie Goat Gruff," the kids said, giggling.

The bus driver who picks this group of students up everyday said Cooley deserves an award for her efforts, but for Cooley it isn't about recognition. This is just something she enjoys doing and she hopes others will do the same.

"Maybe people will see this on TV and other people will be inspired to do the same thing...at other bus stops." Cooley said.

You can nominate someone we should feature in our Show You Care Spotlight.Just e-mail us at newsroom@KCRG.COM to tell us about the person. Don't forget to include your name and phone number and a brief description of the person you think we should spotlight.
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