Annual Honors College Coat Drive Collects Over 1,000 Jackets and Hats for Underserved Communities

The Honors College at William Paterson University conducted their 16th annual coat drive, securing over 600 coats and 566 winter items. The articles of clothing were delivered to Father English Community Center in Paterson, NJ.

Each year, students in the Honors College sort, count, and pack the donated coats, hats, scarves, gloves, and socks, before they are delivered to community outreach facilities within Passaic County.

“I am truly overwhelmed by the community's generosity. Given that we live in the Northeast, a winter coat is an absolute necessity but also quite expensive. I am so happy that we can provide coats to 616 people,” says Barbara Andrew, dean of the Honors College.

This year’s donation total was raised significantly, thanks to 14 Honors students who ran their own “mini” donations outside of the main coat drive.

The annual winter clothing drive helps to fulfill a meaningful learning outcome for Honors College students, civic engagement, while providing those less fortunate within the community with warm clothing and accessories.

The University Honors College has hosted a coat drive since 2006. Originally organized by alumnus Michael Blizzard ‘07, now a member of the WP Alumni Executive Council, and Jan Pinkston, associate director of the Honors College, the event has run every year, except in 2020, when the community partner was no longer able to accept donations.

This year, Father English agreed to take and distribute the donations. Eleven coats were donated to the WP Career Closet and all other coats and winter wear, totaling more than 50 bags of clothing, were delivered by WP students and staff to the community center in Paterson.

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