NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Cares on Tuesday launched the 28th Annual Coat Drive and urged New Yorkers to donate.
Executive Director Gary Bagley, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, NBA legend Ron Harper and WNBA Legend Kym Hampton distributed winter coats to 50 residents of the Bowery Mission in Lower Manhattan.
This year, New York Cares is hoping to collect and distribute 125,000 coats, which represents a record number of requests from its nonprofit and school partners, but is estimated to be only a fraction of the total need for coats that exists throughout the city.
Individuals and organizations can donate gently used, freshly laundered coats at hundreds of locations throughout the five boroughs through Saturday, December 31, including at all New York City police precincts, Queens Library branches, major transit hubs, and many other sites.
As a new addition to this year's New York Cares Coat Drive, individuals can text "COAT" to 41444 to donate $20 to cover the cost and delivery of one new coat to New Yorkers in need of warmth this winter.
Since 1989, the New York Cares Coat Drive has collected 1.7 million winter coats for men, women, and children in need throughout the city.
For a full list of drop-off sites and other ways to keep New Yorkers warm, visit NewYorkCares.org/coats.