We collected more than 200 coats and jackets for our community members in need this year! Thank you all for being a part of that.
“The drive went very well considering we collected over 200 items. We didn’t quite reach our goal of 300, but that’s okay because people donated what they could, and this year’s collection will make a big difference in our communities,” said Robin Gazelian, Director of Vanway and coordinator of the Annual Coat Drive. “Next year we’ll still reach for more.”
There’s no need to tell you how much these donations matter at this time of year. We’re experiencing some of the coldest temperatures ever for this area of the country. And although warm days are upon us, the cold days are not yet behind us. These donations have the potential to save lives, keeping people warm on devastatingly cold nights.
How We Did It
We, specifically our Vanway team, set out to collect donations in October and worked hard over the following months to promote the drive. Robin frequently sent reminder emails, encouraging the ATI Family to spread the word. We picked up from donors who called in, collected drop-offs at each ATI site, and partnered with a local church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Chelmsford through our Colleague George.
Coats and jackets of all sizes and styles were donated by Colleagues, community members, and churchgoers alike. In total, we collected 224 winter coats and jackets, many for children, and quite a few for adults as well.
“I hope this makes recipients realize that people care,” said Robin. “And, when they can, I hope these recipients will find their own way to give back and pass along this kindness.”
Our Partnership with Anton’s Cleaners
We partnered with Anton’s Cleaners for the drive, as part of their 23rd annual Coats for Kids program. The donated items were dropped off at area Anton’s Cleaners locations, where they were professionally cleaned, then distributed to community groups and organizations who can place each and every coat in the right hands. Some organizations include the Salvation Army, MASSCAP, and the Wish Project, among others.
According to the Anton’s website, the program has collected and distributed over 688,000 coats, free of charge, to those in need since its inception. The company partners with local companies and groups who collect the items, then Anton’s cleans and distributes them. The number of items represent more than $8,500,000 in donated cleaning costs.
Our donation combined with all the other drives in the area will amount to thousands of people in our communities staying warm. That’s something all donors should be proud of.
“Thank you for being a part of keeping our communities warm,” said Robin.
From all of us at ATI, thank you all for your donations and for being part of our WOW! Magic by making a real difference in our communities and making Every Life Matter!