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Community Coat Drive Honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Coats, hats, gloves, boots, you name it. The Utica Municipal Housing Authority Americorps group held a massive winter clothing drive over the past few weeks and Monday, in honor of Dr. King, is distribution day.
Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. stood for non-violent activism, peace and equality for all of mankind. People all across the nation honor his memory on January 20th with kindness and service and there’s no exception here in the Mohawk Valley.
Coats, hats, gloves, boots, you name it. The Utica Municipal Housing Authority Americorps group held a massive winter clothing drive over the past few weeks and Monday, in honor of Dr. King, is distribution day.
"I found a beautiful jacket so I’m excited, I want to thank them for helping us,” says municipal housing resident Halima Hussein.
Hussein has a two year old daughter and says without this coat drive, it would have been a very harsh winter.
"Today is a special day, they're helping us to give us jackets, coats, gloves, boots, for the kids and the adults,” said Hussein.
"Thank you for the jacket, I like the new jacket, and clothes, gloves, jackets,” says another grateful housing resident.
People and organizations from all over the community contributed to the clothing drive. Americorps representatives say the amount of donations was almost as overwhelming as the response from recipients.
"Oh, hundreds, at least three or four hundred coats and we got them from churches, we got them from stores..." said Natasha Pearson of Americorps.
As part of MLK day, Americorps held a special pancake breakfast this morning for kids and that's where they gave away most of the children's items but there are still hundreds of coats to give away so those are available for the entire community until all of the coats run out.
"We saw there was a need for coats in our community, and mostly in our residents, a lot of them run around with no coats, no shoes,” said Gary Ollerenshaw of Americorps.
Drive organizers say the need for warm clothing is great and what better day to give back and unite, than on Dr. King's birthday.
"What I like most about honoring Martin Luther King on this day, as far as the coat drive goes, is that people from all different nationalities, backgrounds, you name it, we have people that we don't even understand coming in here but we're eating breakfast together, we're serving each other and that's what's most important,” says Pearson.
Americorps workers say they have so many coats left over they're going to call some local organizations like the Rescue Mission to help distribute the clothing.

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