Levittown resident Lindsay Gruntorad, a '08 Division High School graduate, is getting ready for her 8th annual coat drive, where she collects and donates your unwanted coats to those less fortunate.
Gruntorad started the coat drive when she was a student at Division. She said the coats get donated to many different organizations on Long Island, a big one being Long Island Coalition for the Homeless.
"Believe it or not the hardest part it finding where to donate them," Gruntorad said. "No one charity can take 808 coats, so I have to divide them all up."
Gruntorad's goal is to collect more coats than she did the previous year. So far, she's been very successful: in the first year, just 56 coats were collected, two years ago, that number was up to 617 coats, and last year, a total of 808 coats were collected. This is made even more impressive by the fact that Gruntorad works full-time as a funeral director in Nassau County, using every spare minute of her time to run the drive.
The coat drive used to be organized right out of her home, but it has gotten so big that she's run out of space. Thankfully, Gruntorad said someone generously donated a storage container to her out east.
What is an acceptable donation? "Men's, women's, and children's coats, gloves, scarves, hats and sweatshirts," Gruntorad said.
Gruntorad collects through the end of November and distributes the coats in December. She will arrange pick-ups or drop-offs at a convenient time. Please e-mail keepNYwarm@yahoo.com or call/text 516-698-1058 for more info.
"Getting the word out is the biggest part, if everyone told one person that would be perfect," Gruntorad said.
Check out the 2011 story of Gruntorad in the Huffington Post and the story from last year's coat drive here, and help us spread the word about the coat drive on Facebook and Twitter.