The need for coats this year will be more urgent than ever. Right now, we are seeing huge lines at food pantries around the country as our neighbors’ experience job furloughs, unemployment, and food insecurity. In a few short months, many Americans will need warm clothes and shelter as well as food.

In the face of historically high unemployment rates and homelessness created by Covid-19, the looming cold of winter will have especially dangerous consequences this year – and if we wait until the air turns chilly to address this crisis, it may be too late to help those who are most at risk.

An estimated 40 million Americans are unemployed and more than 1 in 8 American households are living in poverty. In every corner of our country, families are struggling – and the need for warmer clothing, combined with increased utility costs, will make the winter months more challenging for those with already-strapped budgets.

According to a recent report by the New York Federal Reserve, households with children are under severe economic strain and at greater risk of needing to dip into savings, missing a rent payment or not having enough food to eat during the coronavirus pandemic.

The winter cold will also take a toll on the health of many people in need. Cold weather forces the body to work harder, putting stress on the heart to help the body stay warm. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable – they can quickly develop hypothermia without proper protection from the cold.

These vulnerabilities are even more pronounced during a pandemic that is claiming the lives of thousands of our neighbors every month – and doesn’t appear to be coming to an end any time soon.

Thankfully, there are steps we can all take right now to help protect the lives of our country’s most vulnerable – and ensure that those who are struggling financially are provided with a basic need: a warm, winter coat.

The need for coats this year will be more urgent than ever. Right now, we are seeing huge lines at food pantries around the country as our neighbors’ experience job furloughs, unemployment, and food insecurity.

In a few short months, many Americans will need warm clothes and shelter as well as food.

You can help right now, in one of the following ways:

  • Register to hold a coat drive in the coming weeks or months.  While physically holding a coat drive might be different this year, One Warm Coat has provided social distancing tips and tools to help you make the process easy and fun.
  • Register to hold a virtual coat drive.  Follow the same registration steps for holding a physical coat drive, receive access to all of the great tools, but instead of collecting coats, collect only dollar donations. Every $1 donated warms 1 person through the Coat Drive Program.
  • Make a donation. Please consider making a monetary donation.  Every $1 donated warms 1 person through the Coat Drive Program.

Your help is needed more than ever to ensure that those most in need are able to stay warm, safe, and healthy through the long winter ahead.