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URMC / Strong Memorial Hospital / Friends of Strong / The Best of Friends Blog / November 2022 / Share the Warmth: A Coat Drive for Patients in Need

Share the Warmth: A Coat Drive for Patients in Need

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 upon discharge from the hospital.

How You Can 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 601 Elmwood Ave.  Whipple Circle Entrance 256 Crittenden Blvd. (Ground Floor between UR ID and Post offices, in the ATM vestibule)   For Offsite Staff and the General Public:  Outside Advantage Federal Credit Union in Penfield 2515 Browncroft Blvd. (Large white donation bin near the side-entrance)The hospital and URMC community are all invited to be a part of this important initiative—you too can help brighten the season by donating a new or gently used men's winter coat at one of our conveniently-located collection bins detailed under "How You Can Help" (at right).

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 others 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, 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 at this time.

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 Winter Coat Drive by hosting donation bins at the locations outlined to the right.

Last year, more than 500 coats—many of them brand new—were donated in just a three-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 Credit Union has again partnered with us to help ensure this year's drive is successful."

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


Matt Ulakovic | 11/15/2022

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