NEW YORK - The New York Cares annual coat drive is up and running.

The group kicked off its 28th annual drive on Tuesday by handing out coats at the Bowery Mission on the Lower East Side.

Organizers say they’re hoping to collect a record-number of coats by the end of the year.

“This year we’re asking for 125,000 coats because the need is so great. The homeless shelters are full of people that don’t have their coats. People always ask, ‘Well you do this every year, where do the coats go?’ It’s because they don’t have a closet to put it in. Every year, when the summer comes, they have to get rid of the coats, so every year, the need is great to donate once more," said Jacqueline Aquino, a New York Cares Associate.

New or gently used coats may be donated at hundreds of locations citywide including police precincts, Penn Station, and Grand Central Terminal.

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