Coat drive extended due to economics

January 7, 2009 12:17:45 PM PST
The economic crisis is forcing more families to turn to charitable organizations for help. But the groups that are supposed to help those in need, are also facing problems this year.

New York Cares has even extended its coat drive in order to try and get more people to donate.

It looks like a big mess but a pile of coats can ultimately mean the difference between life and death for thousands of New Yorkers this winter.

This year the organization is facing a dilemma, realizing hard economic times are having an effect on the campaign.

The drive kicked off December 1st and right away there was a drop in donations.

"Now we're starting to see a real sense, we could be 10 to 15 percent behind last year," said Gary Bagley

That means 8,000 to 10,000 fewer coats this season, for men and women infants and children.

Ira Weiss with Project Samaritan, sees first hand how important this effort is. He's picked up 100 coats for his clients at a nursing home in the Bronx, people living with HIV and dealing with substance abuse.

"They're very grateful to get the coats, happy some of our people that got coats last year still have them," said Weiss.

As of last Friday the organization has handed out roughly 21,000 coats. They think there are about 30,000 more, but that still means they will fall short of their goal of 80,000 coats.

The coat drive typically wraps up at the end of December but for the first time, fearing they'll miss their mark, organizers are extending it, right through Friday, January 9th.

Coat collection sites open until January 9th

  • Grand Central Terminal (Graybar Passage) 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Penn Station, LIRR level 7:30-9:30 a.m.
  • The Pond at Bryant Park, 42nd Street at 6th Avenue

    WEB PRODUCED BY: Scott Curkin

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