CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The first nor’easter of the year is behind us, but we still have a long stretch until spring.
That is why one store in the Chicopee downtown center is holding a coat drive to help keep everyone warm this season, and the donations have been pouring in.
The coat rack located outside of La Diaspora in Chicopee has a sign placed on top that reads, ‘it’s cold, take one if you need one.’
“We would like anyone in the community that is in need or if you know someone in need and you want to come and grab one for them, you’re more than welcome to,” said owner Johnny Miranda.
The owner of the storefront told Western Mass News that they started placing the rack outside about two weeks after a co-owner suggested the idea.
“She brought in a few coats and those were gone, and I’m like, ‘well, apparently, the need is there,’” Miranda said.
Since then, he said that people and businesses in the community have donated about 150 winter jackets.
“The biggest coat donation we got was from Bob the Bike Guy and the people over at Done Right,” Miranda told us.
The coat rack is placed outside from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. Miranda said that the coats have been flying off the rack. Even Saturday’s snowstorm could not stop their efforts.
“We have an awning on the other door of our shop, and so I put the rack in the awning so that the wind and snow wouldn’t tip it over, and it was good to see people pass by and measure their coat and try them on and take what they needed,” Miranda said.
He said that as long as there is a need in the community, the rack will be outside of his store La Diaspora on Exchange Street.
“Until the cold weather goes away, we will still have that coat rack out there for those in need,” he added.
Donations are welcomed at any time. Contact information for Miranda has been placed on the front door for after operating hours.
“People have just been benefiting the goodness of our community,” Miranda explained. “It takes a village to help those in need.”
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