458 Tompkins families receive donations of warm winter clothing 

The Ithaca Rotary Club wrapped up its 21st annual Share the Warmth campaign in mid-December. Donations of new or gently used winter clothing were 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.

Ithaca Rotary is pleased to announce that 458 Tompkins County households – 844 adults and 572 children – were the happy recipients of donations made to Share the Warmth. More than 4,450 items were picked up, collected, and sorted by volunteers for distribution through the Samaritan Center of Catholic Charities. The donated clothing was then distributed by Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga free of charge to individuals who need such items for the winter months. 


 “Rotary’s belief in ‘Service Above Self’ is truly evident in the support they provide for Share the Warmth every year,” said co-chair Doug Levine. “From collecting to sorting to delivering and distributing, Share the Warmth is a huge operation and we simply could not succeed without so many dedicated volunteers. I’m truly amazed how this community can work together to collect so many winter items for people in need. Looking at the statistics on paper is one thing, but when you see the quantity of winter clothing collected in person, it is truly moving.” 

Ithaca Rotary wishes to thank the 17 locations around Tompkins County that set out the familiar “red box” collection bins: Wegmans; P & C Markets; Tops Markets; Greenstar Co-op; Kendal at Ithaca; Island Health & Fitness; Ithaca College; the State Theatre; Tompkins Trust Company; Trumansburg Shur-Save; The Rink/Field; the Ithaca Youth Bureau; Ithaca Agway; TC-3; the Ithaca YMCA; and Cornell University.

Share The Warmth was initiated by the Ithaca Rotary Club in 1992. 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 chair Doug Levine at 607-592-0153. Additional information about the Rotary Club of Ithaca may be found at www.ithacarotary.com.