Today, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. joined the volunteer organization New York Cares and Health Plus to kick off the 2011 “Keep The Bronx Warm Month” annual coat drive to help children and families in need this winter.
Borough President Diaz kicked off the coat drive at the 50th Precinct in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. Last year, the precinct collected almost 1,400 coats during the drive, making it the largest collection site in the borough.
During the month of December, individuals can donate coats at Borough President Diaz’s office in the Bronx County Courthouse, local police precincts, and other public locations.
“We all can truly make a difference in the lives of many families in our borough and across the city by making sure that everyone is keeping warm during these cold winter months. Let’s all donate a coat to remind our neediest families that their community cares and supports them,” said Borough President Diaz.
Coat donations declined last year, leaving 10,000 New York City children without a warm coat. This year’s goal is to collect 100,000 coats from now to December 31, 2011, to help meet the unprecedented need for coats in the borough and across the City.
“The economy is worse than at any time in the Coat Drive’s history. Last year we could not provide coats to 10,000 children who needed them – we need everyone’s help to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” said Meghan Moloney, New York Cares Senior Director of Programs. “We thank Bronx Borough President Diaz for his leadership in collecting coats to benefit Bronx residents and his support in making all New Yorkers aware of the critical need for coats. We urge every New Yorker who can to give a coat so we don’t leave anyone out in the cold.”
“As Presenting Sponsor of the Coat Drive these past eight years,” said Ada Rodriguez, Chief Marketing Officer for Health Plus, “we are delighted to see local elected officials spotlighting the need for New Yorkers to help each other weather the coming winter by donating coats. Borough President Diaz is a longtime friend of Health Plus, and we are proud to support his efforts today to make the annual New York Cares Coat Drive a new holiday tradition in the Bronx.”
The New York Cares coat drive has been a critical lifeline for New Yorkers in need for 23 years. Every holiday season, New York Cares collects gently used coats for homeless New Yorkers, low-income families and the working poor, seniors living on fixed incomes, and others who can’t afford winter coats.
HealthPlus, a not-for-profit, multicultural organization that is one of the largest managed care organizations in New York City, has been the Presenting Sponsor of the New York Cares Coat Drive for the last seven years.
New York Cares is currently accepting applications from organizations that would like to receive and distribute coats. Organizations in the Bronx can participate by applying here.
A complete list of public coat collection sites can be found here.