ABOVE: Bishop James Dixon II provides winter coats to support less fortunate families
The promise of compassion, care, and support to our children is the responsibility of all parents. For hundreds of thousands of parents, the reality proves overwhelming in the face of poverty. The Christmas season reveals and magnifies poverty. Yet there are few humanitarians who take on the responsibility of support to the less fortunate.
Bishop James Dixon II is a great humanitarian who wholly commits himself to fulfill the promise. In 2016, Bishop Dixon founded “The Coats of Compassion Project,” providing winter coats, and donations to support less fortunate families and homeless adults. A dutiful and doting parent himself; Bishop Dixon feels his humanitarian efforts serve multiple purposes. The Bishop says, “Helping others is serving God as HE requires us to do. As a parent, there is no greater joy than seeing your children healthy, happy and purposeful. However, these emotions are lost in trauma, sadness, and despair when parents can’t support their needs. Our task as humanitarians is to meet the needs of those in communities of our city and across the nation.”
The Coats of Compassion Project was born out of Bishop Dixon’s sincere concern for families in poverty across Houston, Texas.
“Children are vulnerable to health issues when cold weather arises,” said Bishop Dixon. “Studies have shown their immune systems are compromised during colder temperatures.”
Conversely, many might consider the weather in Houston a coastal climate. However, winter spares few communities the wrath of icy temperatures.
“As unpredictable as the winter weather is in Houston, the protection of a winter coat is immeasurable,” Bishop Dixon continued.
The winter coat distribution began with another humanitarian organization Bishop Dixon leads called, “Good Gang USA.” Members are middle and high school students who are at risk of joining a gang and committing juvenile crime. The organization creates opportunities for students to develop strong academic skills, sound moral judgment, and appropriate social behavior. There, the Bishop discovered few children had winter coats to brave the elements during outdoor activities, walking to school and other events.
Bishop Dixon and his congregation at The Community of Faith Church began delivering winter coats in the project’s first year. They were astounded when thousands of other families requested help. As the demand increased, Bishop Dixon continued to work tirelessly to meet the need.
Because the Coats of Compassion Project aligns with the Christmas season, Bishop Dixon combined his “Toys of Hope Campaign,” to assure coat recipients received the joy of a Christmas toy. The campaign started over twenty years ago and it now serves over one thousand children.
“Less fortunate children can only dream of what they deem as hopeless,” said Bishop Dixon. “However, our goal is to transform hopeless into hopeful.”
Known for his sincerity and dependability, Bishop Dixon was unrelenting in broadening support to fulfill the promise of compassion. He enlisted partners with like humanitarian ideals. Using his influence, Bishop Dixon found sponsors from across the city and the nation. He discovered politicians, corporations, private citizens and everyday people who shared his vision of charity, caring, and compassion.
Contributing partner Kaylin Harr said, “Bishop James Dixon is by far one the most charitable, caring and resilient humanitarians I’ve met. When it comes to delivering his commitment to those in need, Bishop Dixon is diligent and uncompromising.”
Recently, the Bishop partnered with Grammy award-winning Artist Kirk Whalum to present Whalum’s 8th Annual Christmas Concert titled: “The Gospel According to Jazz Concert” to benefit the Coats of Compassion Project.
“It was an honor to have Kirk Whalum lend support to the less fortunate,” said Bishop Dixon. “Mr. Whalum could have chosen any organization to support. Choosing the Coats of Compassion Project speaks volumes to his commitment to charity and children.”
The Community of Faith Church served as the venue for the concert on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Attendees brought new winter coats for children of all sizes and monetary donations. The concert opened with tremendous fanfare, beginning with a musical performance by Bishop Dixon, and his group, “Bishop James Dixon & Co.,” concert headliner Kirk Whalum and friends performed a variety of music. The audience delighted in a variety of songs, Christmas, Gospel and Pop. All arranged with a reflection of Jazz. The night garnered much success with the collection of coats and donations to purchase more. Local and national officials including Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee and newly re-elected City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner extended their support to ensure the event’s contributions exceeded expectations. Bishop Dixon concluded with remarks of praise to all generous donors as well as title sponsors, H-E-B Foods and The Houston Texans Foundation whose donations provided free admittance for all attendees. Bishop James Dixon expressed how the unselfish acts of others instill a tremendous sense of community, charity, and supports the humble expectation of compassion towards others.
The Coats of Compassion project in its infancy has provided winter coats for thousands. This coupled with the Caravan of Compassion to deliver coats and donations to needy families across the City of Houston promises to bring hope, care, and compassion to less fortunate children. Bishop James Dixon II continues his efforts in championing the mission and purpose of The Coasts of Compassion as well as his other humanitarian pursuits. He committed his life to serving God and his community in Houston and the world. Armed with the covenants of the Bible and the principals of true humanitarianism, Bishop James Dixon II will continue his work by providing hope, care, and compassion to all in need.