Chicago Bears Coat Drive Kicks Off as Temperatures Plunge
The Chicago Bears and Jewel-Osco announced yesterday the start of their 31st annual coat drive, just as temperatures across the Chicago region plunge to record-breaking lows. At a press conference at Halas Hall, representatives from both organizations shared details of the annual effort that provides thousands of coats to The Salvation Army to give to our neighbors in need.
New and gently used coats can be donated at any of the 188 participating Jewel-Osco locations throughout Chicagoland now through February 28, 2020. Coats for women and children are most in demand.
Chicago winters can be miserable for everyone, but for many of the people we serve, they are life threatening. People who are homeless, families who can’t afford to pay their heating bills, even children just walking to school are at risk of getting frostbite without the proper clothing.
“The need never goes away,” said Tony Medlin, Head Equipment Manager for the Chicago Bears who has driven the coat drive for years. “We’re looking forward to collecting as many coats as we possibly can, but we can’t do this without the Chicagoland area help.”
The Salvation Army conducts daily outreach to homeless individuals, offering warm meals, coats, and blankets. We invite them in out of the cold and offer them shelter and treatment. At our Family Stores, we give away thousands of coats collected through the coat drive.
“There are a lot of needy families in the greater Chicago area that really look forward to this as a very important service to them and to their family annually,” said The Salvation Army’s Commissioner Barry Swanson. “These are people who don’t have a lot of extra income to get shoes or coats or things that many of us would take for granted. They really depend on the donation of these coats that’ll be coming in so they can be ready for winter.”
Last year we received more than 19,000 coats, along with hundreds of hats, gloves, scarves, and snowsuits. This year our goal is 25,000 coats. We know our generous Salvation Army friends can make that happen! We are grateful to you and to The Chicago Bears and Jewel-Osco for helping us bring warmth and hope to those in need this winter.
If you need a coat, please contact your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center or call 773.353.8607. You will need to apply for a coat voucher that can be used at any Salvation Army Thrift Store.