BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Pilgrim Cleaners relates that it received a letter from a local Minnesota charity, Park Avenue, about how the Coats for Kids drive is making a difference in the community.
“We received an incredible letter from Park Ave charity that we wanted to share because it really helps express the impact that this drive has on our community,” relates the cleaners.
The letter was written by Michelle Higgins, office administrator, Park Avenue UMC, and reads as follows:
“The extra adult coats we took out and distributed to homeless people in South Minneapolis. We gave away almost 50 coats in less than 90 minutes. The need for coats, hats, mittens, etc. is so great, it is heartbreaking.
“We gave a coat to one young man, in his early 20s, who was homeless because he had a stroke and became disabled and as a result lost his job. He was wearing just a short-sleeved shirt. I had to help him get his coat on and zipped because his left arm was paralyzed.
“We ran into another young man who was riding a bike and pulling a little cart. We stopped him and asked if he needed a coat. He said yes, and then took the coat and wrapped it around a little girl that was in the cart he was pulling. He refused to take a coat for himself in case there was someone else who needed it more.
“We talked to an older gentleman who was Native American. He was also a veteran. He asked us why we were doing what we were doing. We told him because we cared about him and everyone deserved to be warm.
“His eyes welled up with tears and he thanked us over and over for bringing the coats. Imagine…. a Native American Veteran…. homeless on his native land after serving this country…. still so grateful to receive a coat to keep him warm. It just doesn’t seem right.
“I know the amount of work that you put into this coat distribution every year takes many hours and is very stressful, but if you have ever wondered if it is really worth it, or if it really makes a difference, rest assured, it does…. it really does.
“For some of these people the coats we gave them were literally the difference between freezing to death or not in the streets last night.
“So from the bottom of our hearts…. thank you!!”