PATERSON, NJ - On Super Bowl Sunday following nearly a week of plummeting temperatures and sub-zero wind chills, the Bronze Heat, Paterson’s chapter of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF), hosted a coat giveaway at the city’s Integrity Masonic Temple.  

The event also featured a number of other non-profit organizations which provided winter clothing including gloves, hats, and scarves.  Gently used shoes and sneakers, as well as new toiletries, were available at no cost. Bagels, coffee, and heaping plates of rice and chicken were also offered to hungry area residents.  

Among the organizations in attendance were Kathy's Koats in association with The Paterson Women's Empowerment, Paterson Ceasefire, In His Love Ministry, the Silk City Cardinals, Everlasting Life Ministry, Growing in Grace Counseling Group, The Willie Peterkin Foundation, Humble Beginnings Inc., Team Big Momma, The Amazing Help, NJ Sharing Network, and Project COPE. Mental health screeners and a mobile unit from Montclair State University providing free HIV screening were also on hand.

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“A Paterson firefighter, Kathy Sledge, had this idea to help those that are in need,” Roshawn Davis of the Bronze Heat said, as a DJ played contemporary music in the background.  “We elicited other groups to participate and many signed up and are here today. A lot of people have come together to make this a collaboration.”

4th Ward City Councilwoman Ruby Cotton was on hand to offer her assistance and support.  

“To me this is wonderful,” Cotton stated.  “The community changes when the community cares.”   

“We are here today to help reach out to the community and bring awareness of the need for organ donors,” Vernell Williams, a  member of the Nifty Lions and a double transplant recipient told TAPinto Paterson. William received both a heart and kidney donation made possible by the NJ Sharing Network.  

“Presently there are 95 people in the city of Paterson, alone, that are on the transplant waiting list,” Williams added urging others to sign up to become organ donors.

As the special day concluded, Sylvia Farrar, a member of Paterson CeaseFire, cut pieces of a large cake to the delight of attendees, but not before Davis declared the effort a success.    

“We’ve had anywhere from 100 to 200 people come today that we were able to help,” Davis stated concluded as volunteers headed home to watch the big game.


There are so many organizations doing great things to help build an even better Paterson!

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