Skip to main content
URMC / Strong Memorial Hospital / Friends of Strong / The Best of Friends Blog / November 2021 / Share the Warmth: A Coat Drive for Patients in Need

Share the Warmth: A Coat Drive for Patients in Need

Mature gentleman wearing a blue winter coat and surgical face mask gazing downward outside in a wintry and cold looking street scene.In anticipation of the cold Rochester winter that lies ahead, Friends of Strong is again teaming up with the Emergency Department and Advantage Federal Credit Union to host a winter coat drive to provide a warm coat to patients in need who are awaiting discharge from the hospital.

The hospital and URMC community are all invited to be a part of this impactful initiative—you too can help make this annual initiative a success by donating a new or gently used men’s winter coat at one of our conveniently-located collection bins detailed below.

The Winter Ahead and a Community in Need

As a team, the Emergency Department (ED) staff do everything they can to ensure that every patient is discharged with weather-appropriate clothing, but it’s a goal that can be extremely difficult to accomplish during Rochester’s often-brutal winters.

The ED serves a diverse population, explains Dan Nowak, MS, RN, Director of Patient Family Relations, ED. “Many of our patients come to us after an accident or an injury with their winter clothing badly ruined, while some arrive with very little clothing, or clothing that isn’t weather-appropriate because they either can’t afford winter clothing or are homeless.”

Dan, who oversees the annual collection drive, also notes that men’s coats are the most urgent need. As many women’s coats remain from last year’s drive, we ask that donors consider gifting any women’s coats to a local women’s shelter or church group at this time.

All Thanks to a Generous Community

Each winter the ED begins the season with many coats donated by the ED staff themselves. Unfortunately, the needs often and quickly outpace this initial supply. That’s one reason why Friends of Strong, Advantage Federal Credit Union, and the Department of Pediatrics are all helping to support the ED in holding the annual Winter Coat Drive by hosting donation bins at the locations outlined below.

Last year, more than 700 coats—many of them brand new—were donated in just a two-month period. “It’s always uplifting to see the generosity of the community as we step up to bring comfort and warmth to those in need,” Dan says. “All patients that needed a warm winter coat last year were able to have one for free due to the remarkable generosity of many URMC employees, students, volunteers and visitors.”

“It’s great to be a part of something that makes a real difference for those in our community,” adds Sandy Arbasak, director of Friends of Strong. “We’re so happy that this has become an annual tradition, and overjoyed that Advantage and the Pediatric office near the URMC post Office has joined us to help ensure this year’s drive is as successful as ever.”

How to Help

Bring a new—or clean gently used—men’s adult-size winter coat for donation to our patients in need from now through February. Look for our collection boxes in these three convenient locations:

For URMC Staff:
     Strong Memorial Hospital Main Lobby

     All Hours

     Whipple Circle Entrance
     (Ground Floor near UR ID and Post Offices, in the alcove to the Pediatrics Administrative Office)
     All Hours

For Offsite Staff and the General Public:
     Outside Advantage Federal Credit Union in Penfield

     2515 Browncroft Blvd.
     All Hours (Large white donation bin near the side-entrance.)

Please Note: No women’s coats, children's coats or any other clothing items are needed at this time.

For questions, or to set up a collection point within your location or department, please contact Dan Nowak at 585-276-3028.

Thank you for helping us prepare for this winter’s anticipated cold weather.

Matt Ulakovic | 11/10/2021

You may also like