2009-10-30 / Community

Rockaway Cares Coat Drive Begins At First Church Of The Nazarene

By Miriam Rosenberg

These are just some of the almost 500 coats that were collected last year. These are just some of the almost 500 coats that were collected last year. With winter just two months away community leaders have announced the start of Rockaway's 3rd Annual Rockaway Cares Coat Drive. At a press conference at the Far Rockaway Church of the Nazarene on Monday, Councilman James Sanders Jr. was joined by community representatives including his chief of staff Donovan Richards, who has spearheaded the coat drive, to ask for the public's help in keeping those less fortunate warm when the cold weather hits.

"They [the coats] may be old to you, but to that homeless family it's a new coat," said Sanders, who urged people to donate coats.

Richards, who is the Chair of the Far Rockaway NAACP Youth Council, was inspired to start the coat drive three years ago after a turkey give-away at the councilman's Far Rockaway office.

"A little girl came to our office with no jacket. It was literally zero degrees," said Richards. "I said from that day forth I was going to make sure the councilman did it [along] with other community organizations as partners with us, and make sure that little girl has a jacket."

Donovan Richards, left, explains his reasons for starting the coat drive. Joining in the announcement were Ed Williams, the president of the Far Rockaway NAACP; the Reverend Leslie Mullins of the Church of the Nazarene; Zandra Myers from the Addabbo Family Health Center and Ready Rockaway and Al Jackson. Donovan Richards, left, explains his reasons for starting the coat drive. Joining in the announcement were Ed Williams, the president of the Far Rockaway NAACP; the Reverend Leslie Mullins of the Church of the Nazarene; Zandra Myers from the Addabbo Family Health Center and Ready Rockaway and Al Jackson. Last year approximately 500 coats were collected for distribution. This year Richards is hoping to raise that number to 1,000.

Coats can be dropped off at the Church of the Nazarene, located at 1414 Central Avenue in Far Rockaway, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Donations can also be left at Councilman Sanders' Far Rockaway office at 2123 Birdsall Avenue on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The coats are scheduled to be distributed the day before Thanksgiving at the Church of the Nazarene.

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