Paper Mill Playhouse, (Mark S. Hoebee, Producing Artistic Director; Todd Schmidt, Managing Director) a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to rediscovering and re-imagining classic musicals and plays, in partnership with Jersey Cares, is proud to announce that they’ve collected 462 coats when the theatre acted as a collection site for the Annual Jersey Cares winter coat drive.
 
New and gently used coats were brought to the theatre during the run time of the theatre’s production of Les Miserables, November 19 through December 30. Since the drive ended a week before Les Miserables closed due to the extended performance schedule, the theatre had 100 extra coats that went to benefit The Housing Authority of the Twp. of Irvington.
 
Michael Mooney, Manager of Outreach and Access Programs at Paper Mill Playhouse said, “This winter, the need for coats has been especially great, with the weekly snowstorms, blizzards, and below zero temperatures. Hosting this annual drive at the holidays deepened the true meaning of community and giving at a time when it couldn't be more appreciated.”
 
“Thanks in no small part to the contributions of the Paper Mill Playhouse, we were able to ensure that more than 40,000 people will not have to face the cold winter unprotected,” said Brian E. Dean, Executive Director of Jersey Cares. “These are 40,000 children who will be able to focus on their studies rather than on the cold walk to and from school, seniors who will be able to leave their homes to get medication, job seekers who will be able to continue their search through the winter and people without homes who will survive the frigid temperatures outside.”
 
David A. Brown, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the Twp of Irvington added, “It’s wonderful to know that people have a philanthropic spirit and are willing to give coats to others in need, particularly those in a more vulnerable position in this economy, namely the senior and disabled population. We applaud Paper Mill Playhouse and Jersey Cares for their efforts.” 
 
Over the past fourteen years, Jersey Cares has collected, sorted and distributed thousands of winter coats to New Jersey residents in need through this program.  The donated winter coats benefit at-risk men, woman, children and infants in our area.