NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — This is the time of year that non-profit groups begin collecting winter coats for the needy however, there are concerns that well-meaning people could end up spreading bed bugs with coat donations.

The creepy crawlers are taking a bite out of Bergen Community College’s annual coat and clothing drive.

 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

“There are shelters that do not want to accept used clothes because of the issue,” Rotary Club president Sherry Wilson said.

Past drives have helped thousands in need.

“It’s difficult, it’s not easy, everyone is having a hard time,” Wilson said.

The school has many in the community involved raising Coins for Coats, including some 4-year-olds in the Child Development Center.

Organizers of the coat drive have begun asking for monetary donations instead of clothing. The money will be used to buy new coats.

With every $20 being used to buy a new coat there is fear that many will be left out in the cold.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army said that several people inspect the donated items before they are sold.

It is recommended that all customers wash and dry clothing after purchase.

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