Pilgrim Dry Cleaners is kicking off its 36th year collecting, washing and donating coats and other winter gear through its Coats for Kids drive.
During the drive, which runs from Sept. 13 to Oct. 9, Pilgrim will collect coats for children and adults at each of its 27 locations. These coats are cleaned and distributed to area charities, where they are paired up with new owners.
“It’s exciting, but it’s also kind of unbelievable to think that we’ve been doing this since 1986,” said Laura Dizon, marketing coordinator for Pilgrim Dry Cleaners.
Through the drive, Pilgrim collected more than 11,000 coats in 2020.
Since the drive’s founding, the company has donated more than 432,500 coats to charity.
For 2021, the company aims to collect at least another 10,000 coats. “We’d always like to go over that 10,000 because we always have a waiting list of organizations that are waiting to (receive donations).”
All 22 Davanni’s Pizza and Hot Hoagies locations will be collecting coats this year.
Community members, businesses and organizations can also organize their own collections for the drive.
“All they have to do is just drop those coats off at any (Pilgrim) location,” Dizon said. “The really good thing is that we have a lot more people that are signed up to help us collect than what we had last year.”
The company will clean and donate any cold-weather accessories donated during the drive, including hats, gloves and scarves.
“The need might even be greater than what it was last year with the amount of people facing possible eviction,” Dizon said. “We had an extremely cold winter last year, I can imagine we might have an extremely cold winter this year.”
Community members who would like to participate but do not have a spare coat can make a financial donation to the drive. Checks can be mailed to The Rose Foundation, care of Pilgrim Dry Cleaners, 3217 85th Ave. N., Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, 55443.
A $25 donation provides one coat to a child in need.
Among the 23 organizations that receive coats through the drive are Community Emergency Assistance Programs, Ronald McDonald House, WeCAN, STEP, Sharing and Caring Hands, People Serving People, Good in the Hood, Minneapolis Public Schools, St. Paul Public Schools and Anoka-Hennepin Schools.
Schools, businesses or other community groups that want to participate in the drive can do so by emailing Dizon at email@example.com.
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