On November 25 for the 20th time, Rhode Islanders from all walks of life will gather at locations from Cumberland to Newport, from the State House, to South Kingstown and many places in between including most of the facilities of the Greater Providence YMCA to make sure that Rhode Islanders have warm winter coats this year. Already many communities, businesses churches, and assorted characters are collecting winter coats at locations all over the state. Download a list of sites here. The good folks of Pawtucket are the masters of pre season coat collections with boxes everywhere from City Hall to Ama’s variety, including some in Providence. Each site is unique and independently organized.
Over the last few years we have developed a partnership with the Greater Providence YMCA. We are very proud to work with such an organization. “We are so proud to participate in this initiative once again,” said Steven O’Donnell, CEO, YMCA of Greater Providence. “The winter coat exchange and ‘Buy Nothing Day’ serve as great reminders of the needs of so many members of our community, and how simple it can be to help.”
The event was started as a protest against the damage consumerism does to our communities and the the environment of planet Earth. A search for something that we could do to highlight the problems but also provide something of real value to the community. Through the years we have seen poverty and homelessness become bigger problems than ever as Wall St thinking came to dominate the economy and more and more folks lost jobs to robots. At the same time we now have a climate denying president despite ever higher temperatures and ever more climate disasters marching along with ever more Carbon dioxide in the air. The Bay is cleaner but much warmer and being invaded by species from all over the world. And the power elite still want to build more fossil fuel power plants cause there is money to be made and communities be damned.
The need is still great, and the spirit of Rhode Islanders is still giving. We encourage everyone who can donate a coat to look for a site near you and donate one. Better yet, you can organize a collection drive or volunteer at your local site. All of the sites are listed on the web at Prosperity for RI. For those who need a coat, please come get one. No questions asked, no paperwork needed. We can not tell you what coats we shall have as we accept what we receive and pass them along.
The few coats not distributed at the Providence site on November 25 will be carried by volunteers to the Standing Rock Reservation to keep our brothers and sisters on the front lines at the Dakota Access Pipeline warm this winter. This is the first time coats left at the end of the day have not been further distributed through local partners. All of the other sites have local connections to make sure coats not given away November 25 continue to be available in the community.