New York State Senator Pete Harckham hosted a special Valentine’s Day Weekend Coat Drive at Peekskill High School, and, with more than two dozen volunteers kept busy in the subfreezing temperatures, collected over two tons of clothes—coats, jackets, sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves and mittens—for Caring for the Hungry & Homeless of Peekskill (CHHOP) and the Peekskill Hispanic Community Corporation (PHCC).
The Peekskill Rotary Foundation was collecting donations at the event as well, and raised more than $750 for its Peekskill Food Initiative, which gives residents an opportunity to use food voucher cards at area restaurants.
“The incredible outpouring of generosity expressed today, from area residents who are concerned about their neighbors, is truly heartwarming,” said Harckham. “In tough economic times like this, we have to do our best to look out for each other, it’s that simple. All these donations go to show that the spirit of kindness and compassion is alive and well here in New York.”
Over 170 motorists stopped by the high school to drop off their donations. Some brought a coat or two, and others dropped off several bags of coats and cold weather clothes. Volunteers from New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), who have also been mainstays at the eight food drives Harckham hosted last year, helped out; and Chapman “Chappy” Manzer of Manzer’s Landscape Design and Development delivered the donated clothes to CHHOP and PHCC in one of his box trucks.
“This is a community that cares, and given the opportunity to help each other keep warm by donating their winter coats, people really stepped up today,” said Cynthia Knox, CEO of CHHOP.
Added James Sacci, president of the Rotary Club of Peekskill, “It was a pleasure to be able to participate and work together with some of our community partners on this event. The response was amazing, and we are grateful for everyone’s donations.”
More than 200 hundred coats were donated for the drive earlier in the week by residents of the Towns of Mount Pleasant and New Castle as well.
“I am really happy to be helping everyone here and supporting CHHOP, Peekskill Rotary and Senator Harckham,” said Westchester County Legislator Colin Smith, a lifelong Peekskill resident, while carrying bags of coats to the box truck. “The turnout has been tremendous from this community, which is always ready to support residents in need.”