WORCESTER — Residents across the Twin Cities and beyond will be a little warmer this winter thanks to the yearly Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Winter Coat Drive and Distribution.
The Worcester County Sheriff’s and Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s associations hosted their annual coat drive kick-off in Worcester Oct. 17 to raise funds and awareness for the charitable cause this season. Gathering many community sponsors, organizers for the coat drive aim to deliver 4,000 new warm winter coats to those in need in Worcester County, according to a press release.
“As recipients tell us, these coats represent so much more than a winter jacket, they represent a community that cares,” Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis said. “The department has received countless displays of appreciation from the recipients, which shows just how much of an impact this gesture has. This is a special time of the year for the sheriff’s department and we’re looking forward to connecting with the community members we serve.”
Every fall Evangelidis and his team collect and distribute coats for all ages, from infants through adults, as a way to ensure that those in need stay warm and comfortable during the winter months. The coats not only provide warmth – they also serve as a symbol of support and care from local law enforcement.
During the last week of October, the crew picked up winter gear – jackets, hats and gloves – from nonprofit Warmer Winters, Inc. and delivered them to community organizations and directly to community members, traveling to several stops throughout Worcester County.
“The sheriff’s department annual Winter Coat Drive is one of my favorite weeks of the year,” Evangelidis said. “At every stop we make, we are amazed by the selfless charitable work that our community partner organizations do daily in our neighborhoods. These coats will go a long way to help our underserved communities, the elderly, the homeless, and many more vulnerable populations.”
On Oct. 27 the crew paid a visit to Restoration Recovery and Community Health Connections in Fitchburg and two spots in Leominster – the police department and Women’s Recovery Center – to distribute over 1,250 coats.
“Recipients and our community organization partners were extremely grateful for the jackets,” Evangelidis said. “We’re told that the jackets are a blessing for those who received them directly as well as for the clients of our partner organizations.”