Numerous blizzards that pummeled the country and a financial crisis that has left millions without the ability to pay heating bills or purchase warm clothes, have made the need for warm winter coats more urgent than ever.
One Warm Coat (OWC), the national organization dedicated to ensuring that everybody who needs a winter coat will get one, has been working hard to make its goal a reality. This past year the organization has expanded its range of services, supported 2,750 coat drives, and is working with over 1,500 agencies with the sole focus of helping people stay warm during the winter.
The key to its success? Creating campaigns with a wide range of sponsors who had a product or a use that aligned with the OWC mission—from two celebrity coat auctions sponsored by the Glad Products Company and Good Morning America, to a partnership with Curél® Skincare and Searle to launch the Barrier Coat to benefit OWC— the organization has been able to raise awareness of the need for winter protection, while ensuring that those in need are not left out in the cold.
Examples of successful partnerships include the Warm Coats+ Warm Hearts Drive, sponsored by Burlington Coat Factory and ABC’s Good Morning America. Since its inception, the drive has collected nearly one million coats and distributed them to children and adults in need throughout the country. In addition, during the past several months, Burlington asked their customers at the register to donate funds directly to One Warm Coat. As a result, close to a quarter of a million dollars was collected and all funds raised have been converted into new kids coats, some of which have already been distributed to children in need across the country, and others to be distributed in the fall, 2011. “Our partnership with One Warm Coat continues to be integral to the success of the campaign. Their tireless work and coordination with local agencies is essential to our distribution of donated coats to families in our local communities,” said Wendy Siskind, vice president of marketing, Burlington Coat Factory.
Outerwear outdoor retailer Eddie Bauer teamed up with OWC to hold coat drives in 60 stores in eight markets around the country. “For our coat drive, we turned to One Warm Coat because they not only understood the importance of our mission, but seamlessly facilitated donations at the local level so we could focus on raising awareness and maximizing our impact,” said Kristen Elliott, director of marketing programs at Eddie Bauer.
OWC was also able to distribute 96,000 new coats for teens donated by P.S. from Aeropostale through its 1 Warm Kid campaign.
“Sponsorships allow us to buy new coats and to support volunteer organizers who create coat drives in their communities and agencies,” said One Warm Coat President Sherri Lewis Wood. “We are always looking for authentic and creative ways to partner with others who share our goal.”
“Due to the recession many people weren’t buying new coats so they didn’t necessarily have old ones to donate,” said Wood. “And yet despite this people still gave what they could. This confirms our belief that people are looking for ways to help and we’ve provided an easy and simple way to make a difference in their community.”
About One Warm Coat
One Warm Coat® is a national non-profit organization that provides tools and resources to help volunteers in the collection of clean, reusable coats for donation to individuals. Our dream is that One Warm Coat® becomes a part of the American lifestyle. When a coat is no longer needed, people will think of One Warm Coat®. They will make their donation knowing that children, women and men in need will receive a gift of a warm coat. Please visit onewarmcoat.org for more information.