Baby, It's Cold Outside! 18th Annual Coat Drive Starts Today!

Wow! It’s November already! While most of us are planning for the holidays, let us not discount the fact that there are families in need. Drop-off locations are popping up for toys, the Salvation Army will soon be pulling out the infamous red kettles to help low income families in our area, and while they are all fantastic contributors to helping families in need, there’s one thing that’s extremely important and often forgotten: Coats!

coatMany families are unable to afford the costs of coats for their children. With harsh winter weather rapidly approaching, we need your help to make sure the little ones are bundled up tight!

The annual coat drive begins today! New and gently used coats are being accepted for adults and children from today through Feb. 7, 2014. Coats can be dropped off at Cooks Cleaners, in Bridgeton. If you don’t have transportation and would still like to donate, please contact hillarynichols@gmail.com or jennkaysen@gmail.com and we’d be thrilled to assist you!

As always, thank you for your generosity and compassion. Never forget that that’s what makes the world go ’round!

About the Coat Drive
For the 18th Annual Coat Drive, Jersey Cares plans to collect and distribute more than 60,000 “gently used” winter coats to men, women and children in need throughout New Jersey (a 50% increase over last year). Over the past seventeen years, Jersey Cares has collected, sorted and distributed more than 400,000 coats to New Jersey residents through our annual drive.

This year, The Jersey Cares Coat Drive is proud to partner with The 2014 NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee and New York Cares to create The Super Community Coat Drive, the largest Coat Drive ever held in the tri-state area — and likely the largest Coat Drive in history. Companies, churches, fire departments, police stations, schools and other organizations will set up collections across the state to collect coats. Coats will be delivered by collection site representatives to the nearest container site, where volunteers will sort the donated coats and bag them for pick-up. Nonprofit organizations will then pick up their coats and distribute them to people in need.
Participation Opportunities
• Donating Coats: Coats may be dropped off between November 1, 2013 and February 7, 2014 at all participating public collection sites. Please visit www.jerseycares.org to look up collection sites in your area. Keep in mind that unless cleared, the sites are not prepared for bulk coat donations. If you have more than ten coats to donate, please call ahead or consider hosting your own collection site.

• Collecting Coats: By forming your own collection site, you offer all of your neighbors and community members a convenient location to donate their coats and ensure that more coats make it to those in need. You can establish a private or public collection site during the whole coat drive or for a shorter period of time (i.e., two months, two weeks, a few days, or just one day). After receiving your collection site form, Jersey Cares will send you a Collection Site Kit that includes posters, site instructions, sorting instructions and directions to your nearest drop off location. Please note that all collection sites are required to deliver their coats directly to their local container site – we are not able to provide individual pick-ups due to the size of this program. To host a collection site, please register online.

• Sorting Coats: Volunteer sorting projects will be held from November through February. Please contact the Jersey Cares office to schedule your sorting date. We also encourage pre-sorting coats before delivering them.

• Make a Financial Contribution or Become a Coat Drive Sponsor: The Coat Drive is an enormous undertaking and requires financial support to create its tremendous impact. Sponsors receive multiple benefits. Please contact Sherry Lynn Fazio if you are interested in becoming a sponsor.

• Receiving Coats (for 501(c)(3) nonprofit agencies only): If you are a nonprofit agency or school, you can request gently used, warm winter coats for your clientele or students. Please contact the Jersey Cares office to apply to receive coats or apply directly online.

• Host a Coat Drive Container: Become an even bigger part of The Jersey Cares Coat Drive by hosting an 8’x16’ container. As an added bonus, your coats will be picked up directly from your office. For more information on hosting a container, please contact Andrea Shuba, Service Events Manager, in the Jersey Cares office at 973-424-1091.

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