In a normal year, Midwest winters are a challenging—and often dangerous—season for the homeless population. Amidst a global pandemic, with Ohio unemployment claims on the rise and the number of COVID-19 cases surging to new records, this Cleveland winter is looking particularly bleak.
Old Stone Church, 91 Public Square plans to help alleviate the problem by cultivating community aid for those hit hardest by COVID-19. The church Mission and Urban Wellness committee is hosting a contactless community coat drive Sunday, Dec. 13 to collect coats, blankets, and other winter gear (gloves, hats, scarves, snow pants).
“Our members and staff believe the whole city is our partner in keeping Cleveland compassionate,” says the Rev. Dr. Andrew McDonald, interim senior pastor. “While we could just encourage our members to donate, we want to do more and invite the whole city to join our efforts. This year has been hard on everyone. Our coat drive is just one opportunity to directly address the serious need for basic aid in our local community.”
The coat drive runs from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, outside the Ontario entrance. Participants can drive up and drop off their donations. Everyone who donates will receive a special Christmas gift bag (while supplies last).
While the event is free and open to the public, participants are encouraged register on Facebook to help volunteers prepare for turnout.
Participants are required to wear a mask and maintain six feet of social distancing at all time. Volunteers will receive coat and blanket donations outdoors with no contact. Donation drop offs will be limited to five minutes to maintain sufficient space for participants and volunteers to keep distance.
All donations will be delivered to Love INC of Cuyahoga County, an organization that cultivates a cooperative effort between local businesses, churches, and nonprofit agencies to address emergency needs.