For the fourth straight year, BCBSM, BCN, UAW and St. Vincent de Paul held a one-day coat drive on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
On an unseasonably warm day, corporate and UAW champions, as well as representatives from St. Vincent de Paul, gathered for a ceremony in the parking lot in front of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Detroit Tower, located at 600 E. Lafayette, featuring a performance by the DeLaSalle High School marching band.
Attendees filled the lot to donate. Hundreds of new and gently used coats have been collected in hopes of hitting this year’s goal of 1,100 coats. Last year, the one-day drive garnered more than 950 coats for those in need.
Though the majority of donated coats will be given directly to those in need, a small portion of the coats will be sold at one of 10, local St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores. The dollars from the thrift stores help fund the St. Vincent de Paul emergency services, dental care, shelter and other programs in local communities.
A Message of Thanks
The 2016 one-day coat drive champions thanked everyone for their contributions during the ceremony.
“There are thousands of youngsters in the city who go without the essentials to keep them warm. What we’re trying to
do today is make sure some of the kids that are right here in our neighborhood have the basics so that when they go to school and go outdoors they’re going to be kept warm. I thank you for all of your contributions.”
Jeff Rumley, vice president and General Counsel. Rumley is chairman of the board of the St. Vincent de Paul Foundation, which supports the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Detroit.
“Your coat donation is impacting one person at a time; the amount that can be done by just one person can be significant. I want to thank you all for being out here today.”
Jim Kallas, vice president and Treasurer, Blue Care Network
“This is not the norm for November, today it’s bright and sunny! When the cold and rain comes, we will need to warm the hearts of others. Many will benefit from what we have going on here today.”
Tina Gates, president, Amalgamated UAW-BCBSM Local 1781
“When you’re able to give to someone, that’s the most important thing and the greatest honor that you are able to receive.”
Carlton L. King, president Amalgamated UAW-BCBSM Local 2500
“By your participation today you are helping not only to warm the hearts of those in need, but also to give hope to people struggling through difficult times.”
Chris Stark, executive director, Society of St. Vincent de Paul
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