News

Annual Coat Drive Begins Earlier, Faces Higher Demand In Wake Of Sandy

People try on donated coats in Far Rockaway Nov. 13, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

People try on donated coats in Far Rockaway Nov. 13, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In light of the devastation left behind by superstorm Sandy, New York Cares is holding its annual coat drive early this year.

In some of the hardest hit areas, some people were left without a home or heat or any of their personal belongings.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports

Grateful residents in Far Rockaway, Queens lined up outside the library on Tuesday waiting for the most basic winter necessity.

“Yeah, because we left with the things that we got on our backs,” Fern Foy told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.

Cold residents began lining up outside the Far Rockaway Library branch at 7 a.m., though the distribution did not start until 11 a.m.

“The need is great. There are still people with no gas, no heat so this is going to be a great help. But it may not be enough,” branch manager Sharon Anderson told Diamond.

“It’s really helping out the neighborhood because there are no stores open to buy clothes and it’s nice of them,” 10-year-old Justin Rodriguez said as he tried on a grey down coat.

New York Cares said the goal is to collect 50,000 coats before Thanksgiving so they can be distributed to storm victims as quickly as possible.

“We launched early,” said New York Cares executive director Gary Bagley. “We always try to collect 100,000 coats and this year we feel like we’re going to need 200,000.”

New or gently used coats can be donated at Penn Station, Jamaica Station and Grand Central Terminal, as well as any police precinct or city library.