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URMC / Strong Memorial Hospital / Friends of Strong / The Best of Friends Blog / October 2019 / Share the Warmth: A Coat Drive for Patients in Need

Share the Warmth: A Coat Drive for Patients in Need

A typical Rochester winter weather scene serves as a quick reminder of the importance a warming winter coat for those in need.Help us provide a warm coat to patients in need. In anticipation of the cold Rochester winter that lies ahead, as well as great success last year, Friends of Strong is again teaming up with the Emergency Department to host a winter coat drive for adult male patients awaiting discharge. Many women’s coats are on-hand from last year’s drive—although men’s coats remain an urgent need.

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. It’s a goal that can be extremely difficult to accomplish during Rochester’s oft-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.”

Illuminating Our Collective Generosity

Last winter, as in many years before, the ED began the season with many coats donated by the ED staff themselves. Unfortunately, their supply soon began to dwindle. But silver linings come in many ways, and the unprecedented need led to a collaboration with Friends of Strong to hold a collection drive inviting the entire hospital and URMC community to be part of the impactful initiative.

“It was a terrific success and illuminates the fantastic generosity of our URMC family,” Dan says. “More than 500 coats—many of them brand new—were donated in just a two-month period.”

One department stood out, unsolicited, among the many people and departments from throughout URMC who contributed to the impressive achievement. Grace Dodds rallied the ISD team at Corporate Woods to collect and donate more than 100 coats!

All patients that needed a warm winter coat last year were able to have one for free due to the extreme generosity of many URMC employees, students, volunteers and visitors.

The Winter Ahead

“While we do have an abundance of women’s coats at this time,” Dan adds. “We also have an urgent need for men’s winter coats, which are critical to ensuring our ability to meet the needs of all patients throughout the upcoming winter season.”

How to Help
Bring a clean, gently used—or new—men’s adult-size winter coat for donation to our patients in need from now through January.

Where to Donate
Look for our collection boxes in these two convenient locations:

Friends of Strong Office (1-1230)
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m

Strong Memorial Hospital Lobby
All Hours

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

For questions, please contact us at 585-275-2420.

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

Matt Ulakovic | 10/28/2019

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