NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Fall will soon turn into winter, when many New Yorkers will struggle to keep warm. New York Cares will help with the 28th annual coat drive. Executive Director Gary Bagley says the need for coats is greater than ever.
"This year we have 25 percent more requests -- 125,000," Bagley says. "So we're asking all New Yorkers to step up this year. Last year we got to 100,000. This year we ask you all to help us to get to [125,000]."
New York Cares is the largest volunteer network in the city. They help the record number 60,000 New Yorkers living in homeless shelters; 23,000 of those are children. Over the last 28 years, they have collected and distributed 1.8 million coats.
During the coldest days of winter, having a coat can make the difference between a child attending school or not, or someone in recovery getting the treatment that they need.
"A coat is the first step to someone being able to function on a cold winter day," Bagley says. "Go through your day and imagine everything you would be unable to do if you didn't have a coat."
New York Cares accepts new and slightly used coats.
"The two kinds of coats we almost never get enough of are large men's coats and then children's coats," Bagley says.
If you don't have a coat to spare, you can still help. Text "COAT" to 41444 to donate $20 for the purchase of a new coat for a needy New Yorker.
"We don't want something as simple as a coat to be a barrier to really thrive in our city," Bagley says.
A full list of drop off locations can be found at newyorkcares.org. All donations are tax deductible. The coat drive starts on November 15 and runs through December 31.