A national nonprofit, One Warm Coat, has called on volunteers nationwide to help address a critical shortage of coats for those in need. As you consider what you could do as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on Jan. 18, consider holding a coat drive of any size to help the cause.
“Holding a coat drive is a fun, easy and free way to make an immediate impact on the lives of others in your community,” said Beth W. Amodio, One Warm Coat’s president and CEO. “The need couldn’t be greater. This year, we’ve seen a significant decline in the number of coat drives taking place across the country.”
According to One Warm Coat, the economic crisis created by COVID-19 increased demand for coats in most communities from 30% and 50% compared with this time last year.
Meanwhile, One Warm Coat is experiencing a 60% decrease in the number of registered coat drives, causing a shortage of warm coats.
One Warm Coat distributed more than 500,000 free coats to children and adults in need in the 2019-2020 winter season. The organization relies on volunteer-led drives to collect coats, which it then distributes through partnerships with local nonprofits. Workplaces and schools are often major contributors — but most companies and schools have been unable to host drives this year due to the pandemic.
“At a time in which our country faces so many challenges, holding a coat drive as part of the Martin Luther King Day Jr. Day of Service is a way to make a real difference by making sure those in need have the lifesaving protection of a warm coat,” Amodio said. “Shelter from the elements is a basic need, and One Warm Coat is working to collect and distribute coats across the U.S. to ensure that we can protect the health and well-being of as many people as possible.”
Hosting a coat drive is simple. One Warm Coat provides all of the resources necessary to register, promote and manage coat drives. The organization partners with nonprofits in communities across the country to ensure every coat that’s collected is delivered to someone in need. One Warm Coat is providing social distancing and safety tips to ensure everyone involved in the coat drive program can participate safely.
Locally, you can donate coats of your own or those you’ve collected to:
Find other organizations in Michigan to donate to here.