Peralta hosts seventh annual coat drive

By Bill Parry

Just days after Winter Storm Jonas basted Jackson Heights with 34 inches of snow, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) and Woodside on the Move donated more than 1,700 winter coats to area community and faith-based organizations, which will distribute them to needy families and individuals. This was Peralta’s seventh annual coat drive.

“A lot of our hardworking families are struggling to keep warm,” Peralta said. “These coats will provide some relief for families who are struggling to make ends meet, especially with winter-related expenses, such as heat.”

Peralta’s coat drive gets larger each year. “In 2011, we distributed 250 coats, and this year we are distributing more than 1,700,” he said. “Each year we are providing our neighbors with more coats thanks to the generosity of all the co-sponsors. Without them, the coat drive wouldn’t be a reality winter after winter.”

Sponsors included the Burlington Coat Factory, Delta Airlines, United Health Care and Starbucks Coffee Company and other elected officials.

“Getting through the winter months can be particularly harsh for our city’s vulnerable communities,” U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Jackson Heights) said. “As temperatures continue to drop, no one should have to go without something as basic as a warm coat.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.