As the city continues to face pandemic-related challenges during this particularly cold winter, New York Cares, New York City’s leading volunteer organization, today announced that it raised over $650,000 toward the purchase of more than 47,000 brand-new, warm winter coats and collected over 16,000 gently-used coats—distributing a total of 63,813 warm winter coats during its 33rd Annual Coat Drive. Ten thousand of the collected coats were donated directly to New York City Community Schools for distribution to students and families in need. With critical support from its community partner organizations and the generosity of corporate and individual donors, New York Cares provided warmth and dignity to some of the city’s most vulnerable populations in public schools, housing shelters, community centers, and social service agencies.
“Nearly two years since the pandemic began, thousands of New Yorkers are still experiencing food insecurity, homelessness and unemployment, struggling to meet basic needs most of us take for granted. It’s our duty to provide warmth for students, families and seniors who are hungry and shivering in the cold every day,” said New York Cares Chief Development Officer Jennifer Goldschein. “We are incredibly thankful for the generous donations from the individuals and organizations that are committed to helping New York Cares support our neighbors in every borough during this winter season and beyond.”
In 2021, New York Cares introduced Coat+, a new fundraising campaign focused on distributing warm winter coats with care, while also addressing food insecurity and social isolation through meal distributions. Every $25 donation provided a New Yorker with a brand new, high-quality coat, as well as helped distributed ten meals to the community. Many individuals and organizations set up virtual Coat+ fundraisers, which were shared with other supporters online. While virtual fundraisers were encouraged, a limited number of drop-off locations were available in each borough for those who wished to donate a new or gently used, freshly-laundered coat. In total, fundraising efforts helped distribute 262,889 meals to the community.
“Our numbers have tripled for food access. Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to survive,” said Swami Durga Das, Founder of the River Fund. “New York Cares has helped us get through this pandemic. Many clients come to our food pantry expecting only to get food, and it brings a smile to their faces to receive a coat they couldn’t have afforded otherwise.”
New York Cares has distributed coats to community partners throughout the five boroughs, focused on areas like Central Queens, East Brooklyn, and the South Bronx, which have been especially impacted by COVID-19. Some of these community-based coat distribution partners include Coalition for the Homeless in Manhattan, The River Fund in Queens, Mott Haven Community Partnership in the Bronx, Brooklyn Defender Services in Brooklyn, and the Staten Island Community Partnership. In total, 18,509 coats were distributed to those in need in the Bronx alone, the largest number of any borough. In Queens, agencies received 15,255 coats, and in Manhattan, agencies received 12,295 coats. Approximately 12,053 coats were distributed to agencies in Brooklyn and 5,701 coats were distributed to agencies in Staten Island.
The 33rd Annual New York Cares Coat Drive was made possible by Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Amazin’ Mets Foundation, Sunshine Foundation, Master & Dynamic, PJT Partners, Bank of America, Evercore, The Ehrenkranz Family, The Amine Family, The Shapiro Family, Adam & Jodi Zotkow, Julie Turaj and Robert Pohly, and Tracey Jackson.
For the last 33 years, New York Cares has enabled hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to perform acts of warmth – small, seemingly simple good deeds that in fact, yield a massive impact.
About the 33rd Annual New York Cares Coat DriveSince 1989, the New York Cares Coat Drive has collected over two million winter coats for men, women, and children throughout the city. For more information on other ways to help keep New Yorkers warm, visit newyorkcares.org/coat-drive.
About New York Cares New York Cares is the largest volunteer network in the city. Last year, more than 42,000 New Yorkers made the city a better place by volunteering in New York Cares programs at nearly 800 nonprofits and schools – improving education, meeting immediate needs, and revitalizing public spaces. For more information, visit newyorkcares.org.