3 Ideas for Hosting a Winter Wear Drive

Kara Lester, Rising Leaders Committee
3 Ideas for Hosting a Winter Wear Drive

Winston Churchill once said, "We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." This is a reason most friends, family and colleagues are happy to participate in donation drives when presented with the opportunity. Here are three of my favorite ways to organize winter wear collections.

Rally the work crew

For anyone who is back in the office whether full time or part-time, setting up a collection in the office kitchen or public space is an easy way to round up donations. Of course, talk to any appropriate leadership for permission, but in most cases this is a welcomed way to kick off the “season of giving”. An easy way to spread the word is via email. I like to make these catchy and clear to help garner enthusiasm. I typically send an initial email and follow-up once a week through the duration of the drive. See an idea of what to send below.

Subject: Winter is HERE!  
Hi everyone!
For those of you who woke up in chilly Philly, you’ll know it’s getting cold fast. So while you start to pull out your winter wear I wanted to drop this note earlier than planned.

Any new or gently used winter coats sized infant - adult 4XL+ can be dropped in my office starting next week through 11/29! If anything in your closet isn’t bringing you joy, they will be put to good use. All collected coats will be distributed directly to residents in Project HOME’s permanent, supportive housing and guests at the HUB of HOPE.

Additional items being collected:

  • Hats, gloves, scarves (new)
  • Blankets & towels (new & gently used/not stained or tattered) 
  • Men's work boots (new & gently used)
  • Men's sweatpants & sweatshirts (M-4XL)

Feel free to send any questions my way!

Make it a party 

Are you hosting a Friendsgiving or holiday party? Using an existing gathering is a great opportunity to tack on a collection from friends and family. If you are organizing via a Facebook event or sending out evites, ask guests to forgo a hostess gift and instead bring hats, gloves, or a pack of socks for Project HOME. You can also invite your friends to go through their closets for gently used coats.

Have a cozy family gathering

Do you get together with extended family for Thanksgiving or the December holidays? Increase the good tidings by spreading the word to your family to bring both a green bean casserole and any winter wear they are willing to part with. Sharing information ahead of time can help drive your collection farther from any family members that might not be attending but can send along items with others. 
No matter how large or small your drive is together we can make this winter a little warmer for our Philadelphia community.

About Kara

I’ve been a member of the Rising Leaders Committee since 2022 and I’m humbled to be a small part of Project HOME’s mission to end homelessness in Philadelphia. In addition to asking friends to volunteer with me, I’m a new mom and publicist. 

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