Winter Coat Drive collects donations for those in need

The annual drive works towards helping members of the Port community

Jackeline Fernandes, Staff Writer

Were you cold this morning?  Unfortunately, many people in our community were.  Although it has not crossed many people’s minds, there are a great many Port Washington residents who cannot afford to buy winter clothing for themselves and their families.  However, the Port Washington School District makes an effort to reach out those in need by holding the annual Winter Coat Drive, which takes place each fall to help prepare families in need for the upcoming cold weather.

“Even though I had a sweatshirt on, I definitely felt cold this morning, so I’m really happy that the community is doing something to help people without outerwear that will keep them warm,” said sophomore Lilia Burns.

The coat drive is organized by the district, in conjunction with the Port Washington Parent’s Council and the Town of North Hempstead.  Students and parents can help by donating winter coats, jackets, sweaters, hats, scarves, boots, gloves, and blankets of all sizes to suit the needs of adults and children who cannot afford to buy these essentials on their own.  All clothing and blankets donated must be clean and in good condition so that the recipients of these donations can efficiently fight off the cold.

Donations were collected in the Schreiber lobby from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3, and Weber and the elementary schools also placed collection boxes in their lobbies.

Many feel strongly about giving away their clothing items since they know there are people out there that need them more than they do.

“I’m looking forward to donating my used coats that no longer fit me to give to people in need for the winter holidays to keep them warm,” said junior Camille Socolof.

Since the Port Washington School District runs the event, small children are also encouraged to take part in it, which helps them learn that it is important to give back.

“It teaches kids that giving to people in need is a good thing that they should continue to do for the rest of their lives,” said sophomore Kathryn Keiserman.

The winter clothing and blankets collected at the schools will be brought to the Manorhaven Pool lobby, where they will be distributed to people in need from Nov. 2 to Nov. 4.  To reap the benefits of the coat drive, people interested in receiving donations had to present a ticket at the lobby entrance. A copy of the ticket can be found online on the school website.  Ticketholders were able to select clothing on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.  Tickets are not required for admittance on Nov. 4, since the coat drive will be open to the general public from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Besides making a donation, students and adults were able to help by volunteering their time to help sort and display the donations at the lobby of the Manorhaven Pool facility on Nov. 2 at any time before 6:00 p.m.  Volunteers did not have to be available the entire time, as they worked in shifts.

The impact of the coat drive has inspired some of Schreiber’s clubs to help reach out in the future as well.

“As a member of Human Relations, I think that the coat drive is really beneficial for others,” said sophomore Vice President of the Human Relations club Shani Smilovich.  “Human Relations is a club that seeks to help others, so we’re considering helping out with the coat drive in the future.”

Some feel that this event has set the mood for the holiday season, and helps people prepare for the holiday events to come.

“The coat drive is really great because it helps us transition into the spirit brought about by the upcoming holidays, since the holidays are all about giving and spreading joy.”