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Spread Warmth This Season

Updated on December 15, 2009

Donate a Warm Coat

With "Jack Frost nipping at your nose," it's time to remember there are a lot of people who do not have warm coats.

You can help make a difference in your community by organizing a One Warm Coat drive. One Warm Coat's goal is to provide any person in need with a clean and gently used or new warm coat free of charge. Any outer wear that will keep someone in need warm -- a coat, sweater, jacket, sweatshirt, hats or mittens are needed and appreciated.

One Warm Coat began in 1992 as a Thanksgiving Weekend coat drive in San Francisco, CA. Seventeen years later, more than a million coats have been donated in thousands of communities.

"Our dream is that One Warm Coat becomes a part of the American lifestyle. When a coat is no longer needed, people will think of One Warm Coat," according to Sherri Wood, President and National Coordinator of One Warm Coat, "They will make their donation knowing that children, women and men in need will receive a gift of a warm coat."

If you do not want to organize a coat drive yourself, you can visit One Warm Coat drive, click on your state, and find the closest drive. The list of agencies on the One Warm Coat website is not a complete list of organizations which support those in need. Wood recommends performing a Google search for "homeless assistance + your town" or look in your local telephone book. Churches and food banks also frequently distribute coats to those in need.

There are no costs required to organize a One Warm Coat drive. Organizers are provided a guidebook, online publicity resources including a sample press release, graphics, and a list of agencies that accept coats. One Warm Coat also supplies a large banner and a box label to those who complete the Share Your Plans form.

"We have one rule for a One Warm Coat event - the coat must be GIVEN," Wood stated.

If the warm and fuzzy feeling you get from helping others is not enough, One Warm Coat drive gives you a certificate of appreciation.

One Warm Coat began in 1992 as a Thanksgiving Weekend coat drive in San Francisco, CA. Seventeen years later, more than a million coats have been donated in thousands of communities.

The non-profit organization has been honored for its work including by President and Mrs. George Bush in 2008 and it received the 2007 Gold Halo Award for Best Integration of a cause marketing campaign and the Daily Point of Light in 2006.

One Warm Coat has also had its share of media coverage with magazine features in Family Circle, Redbook, American Girl, More, and Martha Stewart's Living.

If you would like to make a charitable donation (help on those tax forms) to help defray One Warm Coat operating expenses (postage is the largest), visit the Contact page where you can use Google or Paypal.

Companies and individuals who would like to sponsor or support One Warm Coat, can visit the sponsors page. You can view a free movie or download a presentation for more information.

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