EAST ORANGE/ORANGE, NJ - For the second year in a row, East Orange First Lady Bibi Taylor and Orange First Lady Dr. Karma B. Warren will join members of the Montclair Chapter of Drifters, Inc. and together sponsor a unique coat giveaway program, named "Coffee & Coats" and "Cocoa & Coats." The initiative arrives at a time of critical need for the homeless population as winter and below freezing temperatures begin to set in.
On Monday, February 20, 2017, between 9 am -11 am, the First Ladies and volunteers from the Montclair Drifters will hang approximately 70 coats on parking meters along Main Street, a main thoroughfare which crosses into both towns. Dissemination will begin on Main and Day Streets, near Orange City Hall, and continue into East Orange, starting at Winans Street in East Orange and continue to North Day Street in Orange.
The program is modeled after a program that originated in Nova Scotia in late 2015. That program, known as "Project New," was created to raise awareness for homelessness and the need for people to have warm coats in the winter.
The Montclair Drifters, a community service organization serving East Orange, Orange and greater Essex County, as well as parts of Union and Passaic County, decided to bring "Project New" to East Orange and Orange, renaming it "Coffee & Coats" for adults and "Cocoa & Coats" for children.
According to Tracy Munford, President of the Montclair Drifters, the program presented an opportunity for the organization to show how simple and meaningful giving back can be, not just for the homeless, but for anyone in need. "The Montclair Drifters are honored that First Lady Bibi Taylor and First Lady Dr. Karma B. Warren have joined us again for this important program," said Ms. Munford. "As we enter some of the coldest days of the year, it is particularly important for us to help spread warmth to those in need, as part of our mission for 52 - to serve families and communities." The coats are free and available for anyone to take. According to Ms. Munford, "Our hope is that the coats are taken by people who either need a coat or can give the coat to someone in need."