The first signs of winter hit New York this morning, with temperatures dropping into the thirties and snow flurries greeting New Yorkers during their commutes. It was a fitting backdrop for the official start of the 25th Annual Coat Drive. As many New Yorkers grabbed a warmer jacket before heading out the door, thousands more shivered in the cold. But at the Bowery Mission, 100 homeless residents were given the gift of warmth as we distributed coats to begin the drive.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee Co-Chairman Woody Johnson, and NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly joined us and Jersey Cares at the Bowery Mission to launch - what we hope - will be the biggest Coat Drive ever. Ray Kelly handed out coats to members of the Bowery Mission, and everyone expressed excitement about partnering and working together for this year's drive.
“In honor of Super Bowl XLVIII, we’re extending this year’s Coat Drive until the Friday after the game. This winter, thousands of New Yorkers will have to make a difficult choice between buying a warm coat and taking care of some other basic need; putting food on their table, paying their rent on time, or keeping the lights on. In addition to the working poor, thousands of homeless New Yorkers will also need a coat to help them negotiate the harsh realities of winter—without a place to store their coat during the summer, 90 percent of our homeless population will rely on a donated coat this winter to keep from freezing,” said Gary Bagley, our executive director.
There are a lot of ways to support the drive:
- Drop off coats at a coat collection location (which are now open!). Type your address into our map to find a location nearest you.
- Register a team to collect coats.
- Make a financial donation. Your support helps us distribute coats to the people who need them most.
It's only going to get colder, but you can make New Yorkers warmer. Start collecting coats today.
By Susan Torres