This year’s coat drive by charity organization New York Cares has received a boost from the donation of more than 3, 000 coats by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the largest single donation from a corporate group, the Epoch Times said.
The association got involved with New York Cares three years ago, and, as association president Mark Scheinberg said, they “reached out to the 425 dealerships the association represents, and are pleased with the 10, 000 coats they’ve collected over these past three years, ” the Times said.
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He explained that new car dealerships, embedded in smaller urban areas, are becoming focal points for business so it makes sense that they would have a network of customers to ask for donations.
Scheinberg was pleased to report that once the coat drive came to the attention of the car dealers and their networks, many customers were going out and buying coats specifically to donate, with one dealer donating 1, 400 coats on his own, the Times said.
This year marked New York Cares’ 26th annual coat drive, and the charity has had 100, 000 requests for coats from social services this winter. The charity was established in the late 1980s in an effort to deal with some of the serious social issues that prevail in New York. It coordinates volunteer programs for 1, 300 nonprofits, city agencies, and public schools across the city, the report said.
Executive Director Gary Bagley feels they’re currently on-track to meet the usual figure of 70, 000–80, 000 coats that are requested every year. He’s hopeful of reaching social service’s request because of the various coat drives they’ve conducted since November
The coat drives will run until the end of December, and the coats are being donated to some of New York’s more needy citizens, including the working poor, as well as thousands of homeless who must navigate the streets of New York during the freezing winter, the Times said.
To avoid the initiative becoming simply a dump for unwanted coats, Bagley asks that donors assess their coats to determine if they would wear the potential donations out in public on a very cold day. In addition, the charity hopes that donors will wash or dry-clean the garments, so they’re in good enough condition to hand directly over to those in need, the report said.
The coats are sorted into men’s, women’s, and children’s coats at the charity’s central warehouse in Manhattan, which is donated by Vornado Realty Trust.
Social service agencies pick up the coats directly from the warehouse for distribution. In each borough, there are also distribution centers where needy individuals can pick up coats personally, the Times said.