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Voluntourism Spotlight: New York Cares Coat Drive

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coat_drive This weekend, Peter Greenberg Worldwide is broadcasting from the Soho Grand Hotel in New York City, where temperatures continue to drop. Now, you can help locals in need with the New York Cares Coat Drive. Keep reading to see how you can help in New York and at home. And don’t forget to check out our archive for all kinds of different voluntourism opportunities.

Pack an extra coat if you’re traveling to New York City soon. New York Cares, the largest volunteer organization within the city, holds its 25th annual New York Cares Coat Drive from November to February. The last day to donate a coat is on February 7, 2014.

The next couple of weeks will be crucial for those in need of winter coats. Within the next 10 days, temperature will range between 4-33 degrees with heavy snowfall. Any donations will help with the severe shortage of coats.

New York Cares began in 1987, when a group of friends recognized the large social issues facing New York City. Since then the group has expanded to having 1,500 volunteer projects each month to help tackle these social issues. During last year’s drive, New York Cares collected and distribute more than 123,000 coats.

The coat drive will only accept gently worn, clean coats. New York Cares makes it easy to donate from anywhere in the country. There are 300 different donation sites throughout the city, and locations are listed on the New York Cares Coat Drive website. Another way to donate is to look at their wish lists online at Amazon and Target, where you can purchase items to ship to the New York Cares warehouse.

This Saturday, New York Cares Coat Drive will collect coats at the Winter Jam, a winter sports festival in Central Park. Later that night there will be a benefit concert at Arlene’s Grocery with Shakey Tables. Admission is free if you bring a coat to donate. Further details and other events held from now until the final day of the coat drive are on their website.

By Siena Mazero for