PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “A coat means a person is warmer on a cold night,” said Joe Krause of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.
It’s a mission statement he’s followed for 18 years since he founded Krausey’s Koat Drive. Inspired by his late father-in-law, the annual collection began during a broadcast at a Philadelphia Eagles game when Krause was working for 102.9 WMGK. In that first year they collected 333 coats.
Since then, he’s scheduled his assignments in sync with the Philadelphia Eagles’ schedule. It also fits perfectly with the winter holidays.
“This year I will exceed a total of 300,000 coats,” said Krause.
It relies on individual donations as well as the support of local unions, non-profit organizations and schools. Then donations are made in shelters, on the streets, and in communities like the Brith Sholom House in Philadelphia.
The 55+ housing community has a strong veteran presence and has been instrumental in helping people like UESF-certified housing inspector Dorothy Owens-Myers find housing for insecure veterans.
“I’ve housed about 9-10 veterans here at Brith Sholom,” she said. “The necessity outside of coats and socks is a landlord giving them a second chance.”
Brith Sholom also organizes community events like today’s holiday lunch with support from nearby Sharon Baptist Church. And of course they also hosted Krausey’s Koat Drive today.
One mantle recipient, Marine Corps veteran Rico Hunter, was taken aback by the whole thing.
“I’m grateful because I didn’t ask for it,” he said. “It was a blessing that we all need.”
Speaking of hardship, Krause says he can use any coat donations he can get this year.
“I try to fulfill all the requests I get, but I will never have enough,” he said. “But the good news is that we’re doing what we can to help them right now and then prepare for our next collection.”
To learn how you can help Krausey’s Koat Drive, visit her Facebook page.
RELATED: ‘Who can we help?’: A Philly-area nonprofit is supporting 250 children this holiday
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https://6abc.com/krauseys-koat-drive-veterans-coat-donation-collection/12584254/ Pa. man collects coats for veterans, others in need