Planet Aid Sponsors 8th Annual Coat Giveaway in Rochester!

The Upstate New York (UPNY) Planet Aid will host its 8th annual free coat giveaway this Saturday, November 20 beginning at 11 a.m. while coats last. The event will take place at the Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School, located at 27 Zimbrich St., Rochester, NY. 14621.

The longstanding event began eight years ago when the UPNY Planet Aid collaborated with Ibero-American Action League, a dual-language human services agency. The goal was to help fulfill a vital need for coats in the community. Rochester ranks #3 in overall poverty among the 75 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. In addition, 51% of the city's children live in poverty.

UPNY Planet Aid Operation Manager, Jose Delgado, says the most fulfilling aspect of hosting the event is "…being able to meet this overwhelming need for our community. On average, we serve about 700 individuals." Planet Aid donates all the coats to Ibero and helps to host the event annually. More than 4,000 gently used, free coats have been distributed to the community since the event's inception.

Ibero American Action League's Director of Youth and Community Engagement, Shalym Nater Vazques, has helped coordinate the events from year to year. He echoed the need for the event, saying, "We have been so fortunate to be able to collaborate with Jose Delgado and Planet Aid for the last eight consecutive years. Having an organization that deeply cares and invests in the community on projects such as this is great. We hope to continue this partnership between Ibero and Planet Aid for many more years to come."

Over the years, other partners such as Eugenio Maria de Hostos Charter School have joined. The school donates the use of their building and security for the event. Citizens Bank is also a partner, which financially sponsors the event. Volunteers also help separate and organize coats before the event.

This year, NY State Senators Samra Brouk and Barney Cooney will attend. In addition, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and City Council Member Miguel A. Melendez will make an appearance. Council Member Melendez has been part of the coat giveaway since the beginning and works for Ibero-American Action League as chief community engagement officer.

If you would like to know more about the event, the number is (585) 503-1382. You can donate your coat, clothing, and shoes at Planet Aid bins throughout the Rochester area.

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