Baldwin Public Library and One Warm Coat collaboration continues until January 22, with the library asking residence to donate new or gently used coats for those of all ages in the drop off boxes in the lobby. The coat drive is another way Nassau County’s is helping keep Long Island residence warm during the Winter season. In addition to the coat drive Town of Hempstead has started opening locations for residence to find 24/7 shelter and solace from the cold.
Marialisa Arnold, an Adult Programming Librarian comments on the collection, said Covid has not stopped Baldwinites from donating, “We have gotten a generous number surprisingly.” The library’s collection is planned for pickup from the One Warm Coat organization at the end of the donation period and will be handed out “relatively local, but not necessarily specific to Baldwin,” Arnold stated.
She added that the drive is “an opportunity for the Baldwin community to be more on the distribution side and on the generous side of providing help to someone else in need… it's really about the community’s spirit to help others.”
In the past Arnold said the library has worked with The INN, a volunteer organization that helps those challenged by poverty, homelessness and hunger, in Freeport to help distribute the coats, but for precise information for those interested in getting a coat she suggests going to the One Warm Coat Drive website. A report on coat drives last year shows that more than half a million people were warmed last winter.
One Warm Coat believes that warmth is a basic right, stating, “The shelter of a coat is a basic need, like food and water, and the need is great right now.” Going on to cite different studies, One Warm Coat lists the health hazards of prolonged coldness. A 2015 study found up to a 31 percent increase in heart attacks in the coldest months of the year, hypothermia in children being unable regulate their body temperatures like adults and exposure to infections like pneumonia.
Another service for all Nassau County residence is the new 24-hour Warming Centers created by Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman together with Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Jen DeSena, Glen Cove Mayor Pam Panzenbeck, Asstistant Chief Fire Marshall James Hickey, Office of Emergency Management Deputy Commissioner Rich Corbett, Department of Social Services Bureau Chief Rudy Carmenaty, and Acting Parks Commissioner Mike D’Ambrosio. The announcement came after weather reports state an upcoming arctic blast is expected to hit Long Island.