With chilly temperatures upon us, it's time again for the New York Cares Coat drive, which officially kicked off Tuesday. As NY1's Roger Clark tells us, it's easier than ever to make a donation.
Adrian Taboas shows off his new warm coat. It's something he may have had to go without this winter.
"No I wouldn't have had a coat," Taboas said. "I've been struggling. Thank God since I've been here I've had a place to stay. It's a life transformation for me. I'm really happy."
Toboas is one of the 100 homeless men and women staying at the Bowery Mission who received coats, kicking off the 27th annual New York Cares coat drive. This year the organization has received requests for 100,000 coats from the many community based groups they work with.
"We're asking that people bring in gently used, freshly laundered or new coats," said Gary Bagley, executive director of New York Cares.
Those who wish to donate coats can bring them to almost 300 public drop off sites around the city, including NYPD precinct station houses and transit hubs like Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station.
Bagley says the need remains great. Last year, 75,000 coats were collected. And his organization is shooting for even more this year.
"We're looking at a cold winter ahead and many more people in need than ever before," Bagley said. "There are 60,000 people in the shelter system every night and 23,000 of those are children."
Children's coats are greatly needed, as are extra large men's coats. The collection lasts through December 31, but Bagley says the sooner they get the donations, the better.
"Many people ask me what kind of coat is the right kind of coat," Bagley said. "What I would say is if you would stand outside in the coat in zero degree weather that's the coat we are looking for."
For the organizations that benefit from the coat drive, the help from New York Cares is much appreciated.
"When we have gifts of coats, clothing, food, it enables us to basically meet the needs of the people on the street. That's who we serve," said David P. Jones, president and CEO of The Bowery Mission.
To find a location near you where you can donate a coat, just head to www.newyorkcares.org.