Local Nonprofit Holds 5th Annual Free Coat Giveaway

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)Our Closet, a nonprofit that provides clothing to the homeless and vulnerable, held its fifth annual Coat Day on Sunday in Center City.

The group collects clothing year round, with a special need now for coats, including plus sizes, and winter accessories.

The line, two and three people deep, many wearing hoodies and light jackets, snaked up 15th Street and around the corner onto Race.

Our Closet Program Director Anisha Sinha says the event has grown over the years.

“We try to do it early in the season, to keep people warm. We’ve collected over a thousand gently used or new coats for adults, and we partnered with Friends Select to actually host it. They provided volunteers with us, they used a Helping Hands Club to organize it, and we have over 700 people here,” she said.

Some were homeless. Others, in recovery programs.

Andrew Simms Jr, says, until recently, ego and pride would’ve kept him from reaching out for help. Now, he’s eight days sober.

“It was my addiction. I might’ve went in a store and stole a coat, but my feelings today led me to get in line and get a free coat. I’m glad I did. I’m glad they have the services for us — it’s a blessing for guys like me,” said Simms.

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