By MADDY VITALE
The Ocean City Board of Realtors kicked off its annual Warmth for Winter coat drive to collect cold weather items for those in need. And this year, items will be donated to the Atlantic City Rescue Mission.
“It’s time to switch over your wardrobe from summer to winter and clean out your closets, we encourage our fellow realtors, friends and neighbors to donate items that are gently used or new, that will provide warmth for the winter to families in need,” said Gloria Votta, chairwoman of the Community Services committee for the Board of Realtors.
The clothing drive began this week and continues through Nov. 25.
Each year local families and business owners drop off to the Board of Realtors an abundance of sweatshirts, blankets, and winter coats to help with the clothing drive.
Votta said in addition to clothing, people could donate new underwear and socks.
“If anyone wants to buy anything, I would suggest buying underwear and socks. I know there is always a need for those items,” she pointed out. “We also need hats, gloves and scarves to donate.”
Travel size toiletries, such as shampoos and soaps, are also welcomed.
When the Board of Realtors received a letter from the Atlantic City Rescue Mission seeking clothing, the team decided to focus on giving to the rescue mission for the coat drive.
“They are having a clothing drive right now asking people to clean out their closets and drawers and donate them to people who need them, so we thought we would help them and join in the drive,” Votta said. “From what I understand, the rescue mission is in dire need of clothing. It is the first time the rescue mission has ever sent out a letter looking for clothing before.”
Since about 2011, Votta has headed up the clothing drive with the help of fellow realtors.
“I probably have about 20 people on my Community Service Committee,” Votta said of the team that organizes the yearly drive. “I call them all in when we get all of the coats so we can fill up the cars and take them over to where we are donating them.”
Each year the clothing drive is done in cooperation with the Clothes Closet of the Ocean City Ecumenical Council, an association of local churches that gives families in need some assistance.
However, this year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there aren’t enough volunteers at the Ecumenical Council and the hours are limited, Votta said.
She noted that the Board of Realtors and the Ecumenical Council still plan to partner in February to do the annual food drive.
Donations can be dropped off at the office of the Ocean City Board of Realtors at 405 22nd Street. Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All donations are placed inside a plastic bag, and plastic bags will be provided as needed.
For more information contact Vicki Heebner at 609-399-0128 or Vicki@ocbor.com