CHICAGO— A coat drive was held at a South Side church to help people warm up as winter starts to get closer.
In Auburn Gresham, outside St. Sabina Church, the line stretched for blocks as the South Side parish handed out 500 coats to those who need them.
The Rev. Michael Pfleger and those at the church organized the giveaway every year. Pfleger said the need is still great in Chicago.
“People are desperate, you don’t stand outside in a line for two hours unless you need something,” he said. “And contrary to other people’s knowledge, there are people for whom a coat is a luxury. And we just want to help as many people as possible to stay warm.”
Angela Gray is one of the hundreds who stood in the cold for a chance of warmth.
“I am grateful, very grateful to have this here in our community,” she said. “We need a lot more of this going on.”
The demand, on this day was greatest for men’s coats, which ran out within the first hour of the event.
Pfleger is urging others to give to those in need and plan to help even on a one- on- one basis this winter.
“There’s a lot of people in need,” he said. “I tell people to carry around some extra gloves and hats in your car. If you’re at a stop sign and see someone begging, they need gloves, give it to them,” Pfleger said.
The coat drive was a simple way to ensure those in need are given a helping hand as Chicago’s colder months begin.