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Volunteers Kick Off New York Cares Coat Drive On Christmas Day

FILE: Volunteers help out at a New York Cares coat drive. (credit: CBS 2)

FILE: Volunteers help out at a New York Cares coat drive. (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Christmas is a time to give for many New Yorkers. Year after year, New Yorkers rise to the occasion to help those less fortunate.

Dozens of volunteers kicked off the day in downtown Manhattan at the coat drive benefiting the homeless and even victims of superstorm Sandy.

The power of giving was easily visible on the faces of volunteers and more than 150 homeless men and women, transformed as they tried on new coats, CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian reported.

Volunteers of all ages packed the New York City Rescue Mission for New York Cares. The organization is committed to keeping New Yorkers warm this holiday season.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell at the coat drive

Following superstorm Sandy, the need is even greater this year.

“Many, many residents in the Rockaways, Staten Island and areas of Brooklyn who normally wouldn’t be without a coat this season are,” said Gary Bagley, Executive Director of New York Cares.

At the drive, men and women find the right size and fit.

Allan Singer walked out with a huge smile on his face – along with a new coat.

“It shows a lot of tenacity and spirit that people come out and donate coats to those that are not as fortunate,” Singer said.

Tyler Williams told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell he’s delighted with his new Tommy Hilfiger coat.

“It’s beautiful. It’s good what they’re doing,” Williams said. “I know someone gave this to me out of love.”

New York Cares has set an ambitious goal: 200,000 coats. They’ve already collected 75,000 coats, but want to raise 125,000 more in the next week.

To find out where to donate a coat, click here.