ROCHESTER, Minn. - Tomorrow the Rochester Elks Lodge, Catholic Charities, and the Rochester Community Warming Center will host their second annual coat drive, "Share the Warmth," at Charlie's Eatery & Pub North.
The coat drive is to collect donations of winter clothing items for people experiencing homelessness, military veterans, and any children's items donated will be given to the school district.
"Share the Warmth" will be a drive-by collection from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Charlie's parking lot. Volunteers will be on-site to take any donations from cars.
The Rochester Community Warming Center provides a warm place to sleep for individuals experiencing homelessness, and this coat drive allows them to provide clothing items to keep this community warm both inside and outside their walls during Minnesota winters.
As of the last count, there are over 200 people experiencing homelessness in the Med City.
Warming Center Coordinator Rudy Naul said there has been an increase in the need for basic supplies since the pandemic but has seen the community go above and beyond with generosity.
"I think this community does really well when it comes to supporting organizations and individuals that are in need," said Naul. "It was amazing. Last year, there were actually people that went out to the stores and bought things to donate. Little kids were coming in and making donations, as well. And so it was really cool to see the community pull together and to really just help those that are less fortunate."
The first 100 people to donate will receive a choice of a free cup of coffee from Charlie's or a drink voucher to Cork & Kale.