SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Two-time Olympic weight-lifter Kendrick Farris helped organize the first "Coats for a Cause" event at Valencia Park Community Center.
"We're just trying to show people the right spirit, the spirit of joy," said Farris.
The 2008 and 2012 Olympic qualifier is taking time to help send the message that the season for giving can extend beyond what most people think of as the "holiday season"
"It's the first annual coat drive and it is the season of giving but I want people to know it lasts longer than a season," said Farris.
"I'm from Stoner Hill and I want people to think of that in a positive light. So I'm always going to do as much as I can to show people this is what it's about," he said.
Farris embraces representing the red, white and blue on the Olympic stage but feels it's equally important to help make the community he's from a better place.
"This is where I'm from, these are the people I represent," said Farris.
"I want to start here and hopefully take it city-wide, throughout Shreveport and Bossier City," he said.
For Farris it's as simple as paying it forward.
"People have always given to me, people have always supported me," he said.
"So those are the people I want to help and give back to whether it's physically feeding them or just getting out and sharing knowledge and positive encouragement," said Farris.
Farris is set to begin training again in the hopes of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
He must compete in two international qualifiers before the 2016 games.
His immediate goal includes training for a qualifier in March followed by the 2015 Pan American Games in July.
Farris says roughly 100 coats were donated through Coats for a Cause in its first year.