Just as temperatures plunged after a welcome warm spell, dozens of residents of the 12th Council District lined up outside the office of Andy King on Gun Hill Road Monday, November 21 seeking warm winter coats.
“I was the first one here,” said Geraldine Shivers of Co-op City, who got a coat for herself and her husband, Steve Williams, when doors opened at 11 a.m. “I got here at a quarter to 10.”
Shivers said she was grateful for the annual coat drive, since she believes it is colder in Co-op City because it was near the water.
Winston Burnette is in an assisted living facility near King’s office. He said he was glad staff told him of the event after snagging a heavy winter ski jacket.
“It’s a beautiful coat, very nice,” he said. “It’s in good shape, too.”
King and his staff collected more than 80 new or gently worn coats donated by local residents, and even provided a few of their own.
The coat drive has been held for the past four years, the King said. He and his staff also gave away frozen turkeys to those in need a few days earlier.
“We want to make sure residents who are challenged during the winter season with outfitting themselves, have a warm coat when they go outside,” King said. “We have socks, boots, scarves, gloves, all donated from people in the neighborhood looking out for others in the neighborhood.”
“King’s staff will continue to collect coats in the coming weeks for those in need. Donations can be made at the district office located at 940 E.Gun Hill Road. Coats, scarves and gloves are all in high demand. Those donating items are asked to clean them first if they can, or at the very least empty the pockets and air them out.
“Those are the things people fall short of in the winter, especially if they are economically challenged,” the councilman said. “We want to keep people out of the emergency rooms.”