One of Worcester County’s largest coat drives in overcoming obstacles created by the pandemic to continue helping those in need.
This year the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department was unable to accept pre-owned winter jackets in their usual coat drive collection boxes due to COVID-19 safety restrictions. Instead, local companies and individuals stepped up with monetary donations, and the Sheriff’s Department purchased 2,500 new winter jackets. While distributing coats, socks, hand sanitizer and masks at St. John’s Food For The Poor Program today, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis said the community came through when the decade-long program was in doubt.
Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, “By incredible generosity of people on this community we were able to get enough money, starting with the Agency for Aging Central Mass they donate $12000 to help us get started. And then so many other, I’m talking dozens of people and organizations contributed, which allowed us to buy 2500 brand new coats. The need is even greater than it’s ever been.”
“This is a special day cause a lot of these people, some of them homeless, some of them not homeless but today they need a nice warm jacket,” says St. John’s Food For The Poor Program Director Billy Riley.
St. John’s was the first of four stops for the Sheriff Department’s coat drive in Worcester Wednesday. They anticipate handing out over 300 brand new winter jackets at St. John’s alone.