Meets pressing community needs by mobilizing caring New Yorkers in volunteer service.

Coat Drive FAQ

When the seasons change and warmth becomes a means of necessity, the New York Cares Annual Coat Drive is already in full swing. Find out the important dates for the drive, how we collect thousands of coats each year, where to drop off your donations, and much more.

About the Coat Drive

What is the Coat Drive?

The Coat Drive is a city-wide effort run by New York Cares which aims to collect 125,000 coats each year and distribute them to New Yorkers who need them most in the colder months. The Coat Drive has been running for 27 years and counting, having collected and distributed 1.7 million winter coats to-date, thanks to generous New Yorkers. 

When does the New York Cares Coat Drive begin and end?

The 28th Annual Coat Drive officially launches on November 15th and runs through December 31st. Although, as a collection, you can begin collecting coats much earlier. Most drop-off locations will begin accepting your coat donations in mid-November. 

What does New York Cares do with the coats collected?

New York Cares works hand-in-hand with a wide variety of Community Partners across New York City to make sure donated coats are distributed to New Yorkers who need them as quickly as possible. Our Community Partners include nonprofit social service agencies, public schools, religious institutions, and transitional housing shelters - all of which serve some of our city's most vulnerable populations. 

How can I support the Coat Drive?

There are so many ways to ensure a successful Coat Drive. Spread the word, register as a coat collection, donate financially - or all three!

  • Spread the word: Tweet, share, post about the Coat Drive and encourage your networks to get involved, using .
  • Register as a Coat Collection: Put on your collection cap and recruit friends, family, colleagues, or neighbors to donate coats to your collection. You can register as a collection beginning October 11th here.
  • Donate to the cause: Text COAT to 41444. Just $20 buys a new coat for a neighbor in need. Or, make an online gift here to customize your donation.

 

Collecting Coats

How do I sign up as a coat collection?

Start by registering here and we'll provide your collection with all the promotional materials you need to run a successful drive.

 

I’ve registered as a coat collection, now what?

Within the next week, we will be mailing you a packet with three posters and other promotional materials. You can get a head start by visiting our online toolkit which has tips, tricks and resources to help you make the most of your collection. 

Do the coats collected need to be new? Can I donate old coats with a broken zipper/button/etc.?

As long as the coats are in good condition and an individual could walk out of our Walk-In Centers wearing the coat and feeling warm, then we would gladly appreciate the donation! 

Does New York Cares accept clothing items other than coats?

At this time, New York Cares can only collect clean, gently used jackets and coats. For other clothing items, such as sweaters, hats, and gloves, please feel free to reach out to organizations with the capacity to distribute these items to those in need. A list of organizations can be found here on our website: www.newyorkcares.org/clothing

Is my donation tax-deductible? Can I get a receipt?

Yes and yes! The value of any coat you donate to the Coat Drive is tax deductible, and you print donation receipts here. Please note: New York Cares does not appraise coats. Values are assigned by the donor up to a maximum of $5,000.

Does New York Cares provide coat collection boxes?

While New York Cares is able to provide you with posters for your collection, we unfortunately cannot provide boxes. We recommend checking in with your local grocery or drugstore, which often have extra boxes and are willing to spread the wealth. If this option doesn't work for you, cardboard boxes can be purchased from a variety of companies including shipping supply companies or hardware stores.

Should I track the amount of coats I’ve collected?

Yes! We ask all collections to keeping count of the amount of men’s, women’s, kids, and infant coats you collect and that you enter your totals into our collection form here.  This helps us keep track of your donation and give credit where credit is due! You will also be provided with packing stickers to place on EVERY bag of coats you drop off, to help make things a little easier.

When is the best time to drop off coats?

The earlier the better! We suggest getting a head start on your collection and recommend dropping off your coats in waves, as the donations come in. The sooner we receive the coats, the sooner they are sorted and distributed to the New Yorkers who need the warmth. 

Where can I drop off my coats?

Refer to our handy online Coat Drive map, where you can find your nearest drop-off location. We have partnered with all NYPD Police Precincts, Queens Public Libraries, Penn Station and Grand Central, to help make your drop-offs as easy as possible. If your donation is larger than two large garbage bags, please drop off directly to our Coat Drive Warehouse.

The New York Cares Coat Drive Warehouse’s loading dock, located at 157 West 31st Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan, opens on November 7th, and will stay open through December 31st. The hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM. When dropping off your coats to the warehouse, please call 646-801-4022 and someone from our Coat Drive staff will meet you outside to help unload your coats.

Can New York Cares pick up my donation?

We truly appreciate all contributions, but unfortunately do not have the capacity to coordinate donation pick-ups. We encourage you to find a location near you to drop off your donation.

What if I have more than two large bags of coats to drop-off?

That’s wonderful news! We consider these bulk donations, and ask that you drop them off directly at our Coat Drive Warehouse. New York Cares does not have the capacity to coordinate donation pick-ups. 

Is my donation tax-deductible? Can I get a receipt?

Yes and yes! The value of any coat you donate to the Coat Drive is tax deductible, and you print donation receipts here. Please note: New York Cares does not appraise coats. Values are assigned by the donor up to a maximum of $5,000.

I have coats I’d like to donate now. Can I send them to New York Cares before November?

The doors of our Coat Drive Warehouse won’t open until November, so we unfortunately won’t have the capacity to collect and distribute coats until that time. If you can’t keep them until then, there are many other organizations in our community that would appreciate your generosity. Review a list of agencies interested in receiving coats here.

Requesting Coats

How can my organization apply to receive coats?

If you’re a school or 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, you can fill out an online application to receive coats the week of October 24th. Keep an eye out for more information here at that time.

What if I need a coat or know of someone who needs a coat?

Anyone in need of a coat will be able to pick one up from a Coat Drive Walk-In Center in early December. At that time, a list of Walk-In Centers can be found by visiting www.newyorkcares.org/coat-drive.

Still have questions?

Check out our Contact Us page.