Collection of warm winter clothing underway; ends December 10

The 20th annual Share the Warmth campaign kicks off on November 10, with over a dozen collection sites around Ithaca and Tompkins County. Donations of new or gently used winter clothing will be gratefully collected, sorted, and distributed across the area by volunteers from a number of partner organizations: Ithaca Rotary Club, Trumansburg Rotary Club, Cornell University, Ithaca College, TC-3, Ecology House Recycling, Finger Lakes Re-Use, and the Samaritan Center of Catholic Charities.

The familiar “red box” collection bins can be found at 17 locations around Tompkins County, including: Wegmans; P & C Markets at Triphammer and East Hill Plaza; Tops Markets at Triphammer and South Meadow; Greenstar Co-op; Kendal at Ithaca; Island Health & Fitness; the Campus Center lobby at Ithaca College; the State Theatre box office; Tompkins Trust Company in Trumansburg; Trumansburg Shur-Save; The Rink/Field; the Ithaca Youth Bureau Ithaca Agway; TC-3; and various sites around the Cornell campus.

Each location will be accessible for a four-week collection period, scheduled to conclude on December 10. Clothes will be picked up and sorted by volunteers for distribution through the Samaritan Center of Catholic Charities. The donated clothing is distributed by Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga free of charge to individuals who need such items for the winter months. 

All winter clothing in good repair is accepted, and there is special need for jackets and coats, sweaters and fleece. Men’s gloves are also in high demand. Each article of clothing donated should be new or gently used for future recipients.

Share the Warmth was initiated by the Ithaca Rotary Club in 1992. Last year, the program distributed 4,562 items to 1,655 individuals throughout Tompkins County. Nearly 30% of Ithaca children are eligible to receive free or reduced school lunch. Almost 20% of Tompkins County residents live below the poverty level, compared to 14% state-wide.

For more information about Share the Warmth, please call co-chairs Doug Levine at 607-592-0153 or Erin Marteal at 607-227-2982.