Kicking Off the 704 Coat Drive: Let’s Warm Our Neighbors Together!

September 13, 2021
News

It’s almost our favorite time of year – the start of the 704 Coat Drive, our annual community outreach initiative to collect coats for the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. We kick off the Drive on Sept. 15 so keep your eyes peeled for more information. [Side note: In case you’re looking for the Charlotte Coat Drive, you’ve found us! We renamed the initiative this year – same amazing cause, same outstanding partners, same wonderful beneficiary.]

We would love for you to join us in this cause and help us reach the mighty goal of 6,000 coats to benefit The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. Wondering what, why and how? Read on here or learn more by visiting our 704Coat Drive website and give us a follow on Facebook.

Why do we host this drive every year?

In short, we see giving back to our community as a privilege. And as an HVAC/plumbing company, we spend at least half of the year helping keep homeowners warm. So, a coat drive seemed like such a natural fit. We began the drive in 2010, and with the help of dozens of barrel partners –local businesses and organizations – through the years, it has grown to be our largest community event!

What types of coats is the Salvation Army seeking?

The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte primarily serves women and children, so their greatest need is kids’ coats – all sizes – and women’s coats but they are certainly happy to accept men’s coats as well. They are looking for new (their preference) or very, very gently used coats. What does “gently used” mean?

·        Still has a lot of life and warmth left

·        Washed and / or dry cleaned

·        Little to no signs of wear

·        Zero rips, holes or stains

So, if it’s too worn for you, it’s probably too “well-loved” for a neighbor-in-need to wear. Many of our community’s retailers run great deals on coats before or during the season, so keep an eye out.

How are the coats used?

In short, Salvation Army distributes them to the community via their adult and children’s shelters and Boys and Girls Clubs.

Last year

Specifically, the 2020 coats were distributed to families in need through their Christmas Assistance program. Kids coats were distributed through their area Boys & Girls Clubs. And the bulk of the coats were distributed to people in our community experiencing homelessness - at their Center of Hope shelter, at various motel sites across the community (where they were housing people due to COVID-19) and at the Cold-Weather shelter (another motel site) where people were able to stay during the coldest winter months. They also make coats available to other Salvation Army units across the Metrolina area, to serve people in nearby communities such as Cabarrus County, Gaston County, York County, etc.

This year

This year they plan to distribute the coats through their programs as they have in the past - Christmas Assistance (Angel Tree); Homeless services (Center of Hope and other shelter sites); Boys & Girls Clubs; and surrounding Salvation Army units.

When/how can you donate?

The drive runs from Sept. 15 – Nov. 12. There are four easy ways for you to warm our 704 neighbors:

  • Drop at a donation barrel; find the one closest to you here.
  • Give to your Charlotte Mechanical technician during your appointment.
  • Drop off and have some fun at our Zip-Up Day event in the parking lot of Dilworth Grille, the conclusion to the two-month drive.
  • No coats, no problem! Gift a monetary donation by tapping the “give a donation” button here.

How great is the need?

Brent Rinehart of the Salvation Army says:

“We continue to serve more than 1,000 people every day/night in Charlotte. We know that, even as the local economy rebounds, many in our community will be left behind. We are working hard every day to assist those who have fallen on hard times. For those experiencing homelessness, we not only provide shelter, but we also help them to find housing, obtain well-paying jobs, and get back on their feet. A coat may seem like a small thing, but when you are facing catastrophe, it’s one less thing you have to worry about. When temperatures are low, the individuals and families we serve can be assured they have a warm coat while waiting at the bus stop for school or work. They can use the funds they would’ve spent on clothing to go toward their savings as they work to get housing. A simple donation of a coat makes a huge impact.”

 

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