EAST ORANGE/ORANGE, NJ - Anyone in need of a warm winter coat was in luck in East Orange and Orange this past weekend, thanks to the generosity of a few thoughtful women.
East Orange First Lady Bibi Taylor, Orange First Lady Dr. Karma B. Warren and members of the Montclair Chapter of Drifters, Inc. sponsored a unique coat giveaway program modeled after a program originated in Nova Scotia. That program was created to raise awareness for homelessness and the need for people to have warm coats in the winter.
Although Monday was an unusually warm day for February, the coats were well received by the many residents taking advantage of this opportunity. In all, this year more than 200 coats were distributed in East Orange and Orange
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 of a winter coat.
“The Montclair Drifters are honored that First Lady Bibi Taylor and First Lady Dr. Karma Warren have joined us 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.”
Monday, between 7:30 am-10am, the first ladies and the Montclair Drifters hung coats on parking meters along Main Street, and as a special gift, each person receiving a coat will also receive a special gift in the coat pocket, from Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s..
First Lady Bibi Taylor said, “In East Orange, we collectively work together year-round to support those in need, but especially at this time of year when a warm coat can make a world of difference in someone’s life,” she said. “I am humbled to participate in such a worthy cause.”
First Lady Dr. Karma B. Warren said, “"In a time when the need for 'Community' is so great on so many fronts, The Drifters have recognized this need and maximized their power and potential to benefit our community by partnering with the City of Orange Township. The Coffee and Coats Initiative represents a real grassroots effort to address families in need and as the First Lady of Orange, I am more than excited about this partnership and the expected success.”
Both Mayor Warren and Taylor were in attendance supporting and working alongside their spouses. Volunteers included law enforcement, concerned citizens and members of the Drifters.
The Montclair Drifters were chartered in Montclair 5 years ago. Every year, the organization donates approximately $30K in scholarships and grants to students in Essex, Union and parts of Passaic County and to community based organizations. The Montclair Chapter is a part of the national organization that has chapters throughout the country.