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Popular Texas Taco Shop Owner Creates Free Coat Rack In Parking Lot To Help The Community

A woman who owns a taco shop in Texas has a heart to serve much more than amazing food. Seeing a need in her community and an opportunity to show love to others, she created something that has greatly impacted those around her.

Serving Up Kindness

Emilia Flores owns the popular Taco Shop in Dallas, Texas. However, she’s also known for giving back to her community. A few years ago, Emilia started her Leave-A-Coat/Take-A-Coat initiative, housed right in the parking lot of her establishment.

The set up is simple. Emilia has a clothes rack filled with coats, sweaters, and other items for the needy. A sign over the rack reads: “Are you cold? Take one. Do you want to help? Leave one.” Especially in the winter months, the initiative is doing great things. And the idea came about after Emilia had an amazing visit to her native country.

Finding Inspiration

While visiting a small town in Mexico, Emilia got the idea to create a space for people in need who could get help without being embarrassed. “They don’t have to ask for charity. They don’t have to ask for something,” she shared in an interview. “They just come and grab what they need.”

The word quickly got out in Dallas with many people donating different items, which was a little overwhelming for Emilia. However, when she has too many donations, she puts out coats and sweaters and puts everything else in donation boxes. “It’s important in the times we are living in, particularly here in the United States where the rhetoric is one of hate,” Emilia said. “We need reminders that people need to be kind to one another. Nothing else matters.”

Hometown Hero

Emilia’s idea is spreading through North Texas and Mexico which she is very proud of. “They have it in Veracruz. They have it in Hidalgo,” she shared, admitting that’s the point. She noted that employees at the Noble Rey Brewing Company, another local business, asked if she would mind if they could use the idea of the donation rack. A gym down the street from her taco shop, The Power House, also wanted to create its own donation rack. Emilia was completely fine with it.

For Emilia, this is exactly the point. With this program, anyone can donate to help those in their community, especially during the harsh winter. It doesn’t take much work at all. “All it takes is a rack and a sign. It’s sort of like that movie: ‘You build it and they will come,’” she said, citing the baseball film, Field of Dreams.

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