New York Cares Coat Drive

Coat Drive Resources

If there was ever a time to spread a message of warmth in our city, it’s now. Learn all about the Coat Drive; who receives coats, how to fundraise, where to donate, and 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 100,000 coats this year and distribute them to New Yorkers who need them most in the colder months. The Coat Drive has been running for 34 years and counting, having collected and distributed 2.5 million winter coats to-date, thanks to generous New Yorkers.

When does the Coat Drive begin and end?
The 35th Annual Coat Drive officially launches on October 1st and runs through the end of February. As a collection, you can begin collecting coats much earlier and drop them off once the Coat Drive kicks off.

What does New York Cares do with the coats collected? 
New York Cares works hand-in-hand with a wide variety of organizations across New York City to make sure donated coats are distributed to New Yorkers who need them as quickly as possible. With the help of volunteers, coats are sorted in our Coat Drive Warehouse, and then distributed to 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 do I donate a coat? 
Visit our Coat Drive Map to find a location near you accepting coats. Check back in mid October for a link to a map listing drop off locations across NYC.

Will I be able to volunteer to support the Coat Drive? 
We anticipate potential coat distribution projects at community partner sites, as well as our warehouse, and will share more information on these projects as they are planned. If we have available opportunities, find them by using our advanced search and typing COATDRIVE in the project code field.

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. Please note: New York Cares does not appraise coats. Values are assigned by the donor up to a maximum of $5,000. 

Collecting Coats

How do I start a collection? 
Register your collection here. Detailed instructions will be emailed after you register.

Does New York Cares provide coat collection boxes? 
While New York Cares provides 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. To spread the holiday cheer, consider decorating your box with wrapping paper as well!

Do the coats 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 outside wearing the coat and feeling warm, then we would gladly appreciate the donation! We encourage donors to launder or dry clean their coat before donating.

Does New York Cares accept clothing items other than coats? 
At this time, we can only collect clean, gently used jackets and coats. For other clothing items, such as sweaters, hats, and gloves, please feel free to check donateNYC (link is external)for organizations with the capacity to distribute these items to those in need.

Delivering 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. As a nonprofit, we appreciate your support in our efforts to keep costs low. We encourage you to find a location near you to drop off your donation.

Where can I drop off one or two bags of coats? 
Refer to our handy online Coat Drive map, where you can find your nearest drop-off location. Please keep in mind, these locations are specifically for individual donors and often have limited capacity to accept donations of more than two garbage bags. If your donation is larger, please follow directions for sending directly to our warehouse.

What if I have more than two large bags of coats to drop-off? 
That’s wonderful news! Please register online as a private collection and information will be sent on where to send the coats.

How do I prepare my coats for drop-off? 
Make sure that they are double bagged and your labels are on each bag. The labels are how we track how many coats each collection drops off, so make sure they are visible. If you run out of labels, write your name, your collection name, and number of coats on each bag.



How do I start a virtual coat collection? 
Start by creating your own fundraiser. This will be your virtual collection box, and you can share this link with any friends and family who would like to contribute a warm coat to your collection. Every $25 donated distributes a warm winter COAT+ essential programming to the community.

I’ve never done a virtual fundraiser before. Is there any advice you can provide? 
Yes! Our team is here to support you every step of the way as you begin your virtual collection. Start by taking a look at our Virtual Fundraising Toolkit(link is external) for tips, ideas, and templates to engage your friends and family.

Can I start a Facebook or Instagram fundraiser? 
We love Facebook and Instagram fundraisers! It is important to know that these fundraisers take around 4-6 weeks for New York Cares to receive the funds. For a more immediate impact, and to help us get coats to those who need them before it gets cold, we suggest you create your own virtual coat collection and fundraiser. We receive the funds within a few days and can use them immediately to support the program.