The unprecedented health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is impacting the lives of millions of people, many who were already struggling to make ends meet. No one can predict the long-term impacts of this pandemic, but one thing we know for certain – the need for coats this fall and winter will be greater than ever before.

Coat Drive Ambassador are needed now more than ever!

According to the CDC, social distancing means staying at least 6 feet away from other people. Below, we’ve outlined a few social distancing tips and ideas to follow when holding a coat drive.

  1. Plan your group coat drive virtually
    Services like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Facebook, and Facetime are free and allow you to meet virtually to plan your event and set goals. 
  2. Host a neighborhood coat drive
    Pass out Curbside Pickup Flyers to your neighbors to let them know you’re collecting coats. You can ask them to drop the coats off in a box on your driveway or porch, or leave their coats in a bag on their front step and tell them which day you’ll drop by to pick them up. You can also spread the word on social media or via the Nextdoor app.
  3. Plan a coat drive parade
    We love all the parades we’ve seen because of quarantine! Consider adding a coat donation to your next birthday parade. Ask everyone participating to bring a coat to donate and have them drop it in a box on your driveway –a non-contact donation!
  4. Create a central drop-off location
    Ask your school, office, or local religious congregation if you can leave a coat collection box in their lobby.  Let everyone know where your coat drop-off locations are using email and social media. Check the boxes a few times a week during your coat drive.
  5. Host a Virtual Coat Drive
    Ask friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers to make a financial contribution to your on-line coat drive. Every $1 donated warms 1 person.

Dropping-Off Your Coat Donation

According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads easily between people but does not spread easily in other ways, like touching surfaces or objects. They say:It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.” 

Because information about COVID-19 is constantly evolving, please ask coat donors to clean their coats before donating them to your coat drive.  The CDC recommends washing items according to the manufacturer’s instructions, using the warmest appropriate water setting and drying items completely.

A few additional tips:

  • You may wish to let donated coats sit in your collection bins for a few days before touching them.
  • You may wish to wear plastic gloves when sorting the coats you’ve collected, as an extra protective measure. 
  • Please discard any coats that are not clean and wearable. 
  • Once you’ve chosen a local nonprofit to receive your coats from the Nonprofit Locator Map, call them to double-check if they have restrictions on clothing donations.  Ask if they are able to pick-up your coat donation. If they do not offer pick-up, ask if there is a secure area where you can drop-off the coat donation with limited or no contact.