Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and St. Theresa Church teamed up to donate to the needy during the cold month of December.
For the third straight year, used coats were collected by Assemblyman Benedetto to be donated to the homeless of Manhattan. Benedetto and St. Theresa’s have frequently joined forces during the Christmas season to collect coats from local residents. According to Benedetto, this is the largest coat donation they ever made during the time they have been doing this.
“We acquired a lot more coats then we expected,” said Benedetto. “Our Co-op City office alone made three large donations, so those who are lacking a warm coat in Manhattan will be very happy this holiday season.
St. Theresa’s donates these coats as part of their “Midnight Run” program. Church members, as well as volunteers, take a trip every second Thursday of the month to deliver care packages to St. Peter’s Church on Lexington Avenue for the homeless. These packages include clothes, food and toiletries. With the help of Benedetto, St. Theresa’s has a large donation of winter coats every year for the needy.
Benedetto hoped to get the coats down earlier than the December 15 deadline due to the very cold weather. Unfortunately, St. Theresa’s already made their trip to the city this month, but the coats will be delivered on their next trip after the holidays.
Volunteer worker Ben Alvino, who is part of the St. Theresa’s “Midnight Run” program, personally came to Assemblyman Benedetto’s office to pick up the coats.
“The church has been doing this trip to the city for 15 years now,” Alvino said. “This time of year it’s always good to give a little extra to those who really need it.”
Assemblyman Benedetto believes that it is unfair to believe that everybody in today’s society doesn’t care for others. For Benedetto, something as little as a donation of old coats can really change that perception.
“It’s really all about the small acts of kindness,” said Benedetto. “There are good people out there who can show kindness like this, especially during the holiday season.”
Next year, Benedetto hopes to collect more coats and continue to help St. Theresa’s, as well as the homeless in Manhattan. Since more donations have been made every year over the last three years, the plan is to continue to have the number of coats donated rise next year.