NBC Chicago Collects More Than 1,300 Coats

Donations to benefit three Chicago-area organizations, school

Three Chicago-area organizations and a school will be among the recipients of the hundreds of coats being collected as part of NBC Chicago's 2010 winter coat drive.

The coats collected will be distributed to those in need through both campuses of the South Loop School, the Salvation Army of Chicago, the Community Housing Association of DuPage and Wrap, Inc.

More than 1,300 coats were collected in the drive, which ended at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"There's some great need out there, so we're relying on the generosity of this community," said Col. Bukiewicz with the Salvation Army.  "We believe that we're going to help make a difference together in the lives of our neighbors."

Bukiewicz said there's been a 200 to 300 percent increase in those seeking aid from the Salvation Army this year.

Former Chicago Blackhawk Eddie Olczyk helped collect coats during a final collection push during the NBC 5 News Today morning newscast.

"I encourage and I challenge all Blackhawks fans and all the great citizens of the city of Chicago to come out here and donate, and it makes you feel good, too," he said.

Those who donated coats at Daley Plaza and Pioneer Court Plaza on Wednesday morning received flu shot vouchers courtesy of the American Lung Association.  

"We want to do our civic part for the community, as everybody in the community supports us, we want to support the community," said ALA's Harold Wimmer.

Law enforcement agencies, including NOBLE, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, and the Cook County Forest Preserve Police, put their members to work collecting coats.

"We look forward to this every year," said NOBLE's Greg Baker, adding that it was the sixth year the organization has taken part in the drive.

Also providing donations of cash and coats included North Face, Carson Pirie Scott and Cuddl Duds.

"At this time of year, this is a great thing to be doing for people in our community," said Carson Pirie Scott's Amy Higgins.

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