Donating warm coats during the winter season

Dear Benny:
I have a few coats and scarves that I’d like to donate to families in need for the holiday season. Are there any places in and around the University that accept these donations?
—Keeping Warm

Dear Winter Warm-up,
Once again, Penn is hosting a Winter Coat Drive, an annual event that gives needy adults and children warm outerwear to help battle the winter chill. Through Dec. 10, Penn is accepting donations of gently used items with some serviceable miles still on them. (No threadbare cast-offs, please).

Because the organizers of the coat drive don’t have the space or time to launder every donation, please be sure all coats are washed before being dropped off. Donations will be distributed to a number of charitable organizations and shelters in the Philadelphia area. The Winter Coat Drive usually collects more than 100 coats per year. Past recipients include Greater Philadelphia Cares and the Red Cross House. One organizer has taken specific size requests for a local youth home.

Members of the Penn community are welcome to pitch in warm hats, mittens, gloves and scarves—also in new or gently used condition. It’s always a nice surprise for recipients to reach into the pocket of their new coat and pull out a warm, fuzzy hat, or pair of new mittens.

This Winter Coat Drive is being organized by the Department of Linguistics in the School of Arts and Sciences and Penn Volunteers in Public Service, through the Netter Center for Community Partnerships.

Donations may be dropped off in three places: to Amy Forsyth in the Linguistics Department, 619 Williams Hall; to Isabel Mapp at the Netter Center, 133 S. 36th St., Suite 519; and to Bonnie Crossfield at the Penn Museum Reception Desk, near the Kress Gallery, 3260 South St.

For more information, contact Isabel Mapp at or Amy Forsyth at

Got a question for Benny? Send it via e-mail to or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

Originally published on December 2, 2010