It’s easy to get so caught up in the season of buying that we forget it’s also the season of giving. But plenty of people in Connecticut are in need of basic necessities like warm clothes and blankets. If you gather good condition items you’re no longer using and drop them off to one of these organizations on the front line of fighting poverty, you’ll help those less fortunate and make your own holiday a little more meaningful.
OneWarmCoat.org began with a single coat drive in California 14 years ago and since then has expanded to hundreds of coat drives across the country. Fox Hill Center, a rehab and long-term nursing facility at 1253 Hartford Turnpike, in Vernon is a Connecticut donation center this year and is collecting coats for men, women and children through Dec. 31. (They’re also collecting new winter hats for a “Cap the Cold” program. Call 860-875-0771 for information.) Items go to the Tri-City Shelter.
“We’ve all got coats in our closets that we’re not using and this is an easy way to get them to those who really need them,” says Sue Wilkison, admissions director. “People can drop off clean, gently-used coats in all sizes and new winter hats in our lobby between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.”
And there are others ways to give.
Best Cleaners collects gently-used winter coats and clothing for all ages for their Coats For Connecticut drive. Best cleans the clothing and delivers it to Salvation Army centers. (There are bins in all store lobbies; drop offs can be made any time stores are open.) Information: www.bestcleaners.com or 1-888-950-BEST.
French Cleaners and Becker’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry have teamed up for a “Coats for Winter” drive, which runs through Dec. 24. Best cleans the coats and delivers them to the Salvation Army and area churches and organizations. Coats can be dropped at French Cleaners, 935 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford or Becker’s at 65 LaSalle Road, West Hartford. Information: www.beckers.com or www.frenchcleaner.com.
Button Up Connecticut collects clean, new and gently used coats and distributes them to Connecticut residents in need. Donations can be dropped off year-round at Siracusa Moving, 250 Commerce Circle, New Britain, and at several drop-off spots during the winter months. Information and locations: www.buttonupconnecticut.com.
PayHub is collecting new or gently used mittens through Dec. 17 to donate to the Susan B Anthony Project in Torrington. Mail to or drop donations off at PayHub, 200 Fisher Drive, Avon, CT, 06001.
Warm coats are particularly needed during the winter months at shelters and organizations that serve the homeless.
Catholic Charities Institute for the Hispanic Family, 45 Wadsworth St., Hartford accepts donations of new and gently used winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves for adults and children in need. (Coats for kids are particularly needed.) Information and drop-off hours: 860-527-1124 or www.ccaoh.org.
South Park Inn, 75 Main St. in Hartford, collects men, women and children’s new and gently-used coats, gloves, scarves and other cold weather clothing for shelter residents. Items can be dropped off around the clock, seven days a week. Information: www.southparkinn.org.
The Immaculate Conception Shelter, 560 Park St., in Hartford, collects sleeping bags, blankets, comforters and other bedding; and men’s coats and warm clothing. Information: www.icshc.org or 860-724-4823.
The Community Renewal Team accepts donations of books, food, clothing, household goods, personal care supplies, school supplies and toys for its East Hartford Community Shelter, 385 Main St. in East Hartford, which houses men, women and children. Call ahead at 860-568-0323.
At 211ct.org, visitors can hit the “Search for Services” link, enter a ZIP code, click on “Ways To Donate” and then choose from a variety of options. Click on “Household Goods” and you’ll get a list of agencies in your area that accept donations. (Those without access to a computer can call 211 for the information.)
Many churches and town social services agencies accept in-season clothing for their clothing banks.