On a beautiful Fall day while standing at the base of Wachusett Mountain along side many community partners, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis announced the kickoff of the 2016 Sheriff’s Annual Winter Coat Drive for Worcester County. The Sheriff’s Coat Drive is annual event that provides new or lightly used winter coats to families in need throughout Worcester County and is a collaborative effort between the Sheriff’s Office of Community Corrections, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Worcester County Reserve Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Warmer Winters of Leominster, Rutland Women’s Knitting Club, Twin City Cleaners of Dudley & Independent Cleaners of Fitchburg.

The Sheriff's Annual Winter Coat Drive kicked off at the base of Wachusett Mountain on Friday, October 14th along with Sheriff Evangelidis were representatives of Wachusett Mountain, coat drive volunteers & community partners.

The Sheriff’s Annual Winter Coat Drive kicked off at the base of Wachusett Mountain on Friday, October 14th along with Sheriff Evangelidis were representatives of Wachusett Mountain, coat drive volunteers & community partners.

“Last year the Sheriff’s Winter Coat Drive was a great success, providing over 3,000 new and lightly used winter jackets to families in need throughout Worcester County. Today with the kickoff of the 2016 Sheriff’s Annual Winter Coat Drive and with the help of our tremendous community partners, we are determined to surpass that goal.” Evangelidis continued “As many families continue to struggle, coat donations are needed more than ever. It is very important to do all we can to help those who may be less fortunate and providing an adequate winter jacket can be of great help during the cold winter months.” said the Sheriff.

This year’s winter coat drive received a huge boost during the kickoff announcement with a donation from Wachusett Mountain Ski Area of over 1,500 winter coats. “With today’s donation of over 1,500 winter jackets from Wachusett Mountain Ski Area & the Crowley Family, we are well on our way to having a very successful coat drive that will be able to help so many families. We cannot thank them them enough for their overwhelming generosity.” said Evangelidis.

“It’s an honor for us to be part of the Sheriff’s Coat Drive each year. The families who come to our ski swap are so happy to see the ski jackets and coats they no longer use go to such a wonderful cause, it’s great to help out.” said Carolyn Crowley Stimpson, Vice President Wachusett Mountain Ski Area.

This year winter coat donations will be provided to the Gardner Community Action Center, Our Father’s House of Fitchburg, Cleghorn & Spanish American Centers of Leominster, St. John’s Food Program for the Poor, The Friendly House & Veteran’s Inc of Worcester, Also scheduled to receive coats are Rutland Food Pantry, Saint Anne’s Food Pantry of Shrewsbury, Tradewinds, Catholic Charities and the Arc of Hope of Southbridge as well as many other charitable organizations throughout the region.

The Sheriff’s Coat Drive will be ongoing now through the end of November, donations of new or lightly used winter jackets may be dropped off at the Fitchburg Office of Community Corrections at 19 Fairmont Place – Fitchburg, the Gardner Museum, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, Hannaford Supermarkets of Lunenburg & Leominster, Lundgren Honda of Auburn, Planet Fitness of Leominster, Hearing & Balance Center of New England, Holden Senior Center, Oriol Healthcare, The Overlook, Care One, Herlihy Insurance, Unum Insurance, Austin Liquors of Shrewsbury, Chick-Fil-A of Westborough, Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Regional Resource Center at 562 Main St – Webster, Twin City Cleaners of Dudley & Independent Cleaners of Fitchburg or scheduled for pick up by calling 508-796-2638.