If Santa brought you a new coat for Christmas, Anton’s Cleaners would like to take your old coat off your hands.
The dry-cleaning chain is collecting gently used coats of all sizes through Jan. 8. Anton’s will clean the coats and donate them to charities that distribute them to those in need in the Boston area.
The collection meets an ever-present need that has increased with the recession, said Arthur Anton Jr., Anton’s chief operating officer.
“There is still a huge need for people that don’t have the ability to buy coats. We look to the generosity of people to make (helping people) possible,” Anton said.
Anton’s annual collection, dubbed Coats for Kids, began in October. Last year, the company collected 60,000 coats — a number they hope to match this year.
Anton’s Cleaners has 43 stores in eastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire; its Hamilton location is at 15 Walnut Road, in the Shoppes at Hamilton Crossing plaza.
Donations of warm winter coats should be gently used, without broken zippers, rips or tears. Coats can also be dropped off at all Jordan’s Furniture locations.
The donated coats are distributed through numerous charities, including the Salvation Army, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless, Rosie’s Place and the Boxford-based Community Giving Tree.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Salem receives coats from Anton’s for their coat closet ministry, which distributes outerwear on the first Saturday of the month, November through February.
The Rev. Daniel Vé©lez-Rivera, one of two priests at the Spanish- and English-language church, said they sometimes see more than 100 people come to receive coats on a Saturday morning.
“Every year, there’s more and more need,” he said. “It’s phenomenal — Anton’s provides us with as many coats as we need. … We’re hoping to be able to expand the goodness Anton’s is doing. It’s wonderful they make it so easy for us.”
St. Peter’s coat closet ministry was started seven years ago by parishioners Phyllis Caliri and Carole MacDonald; last year was the first time they received coats from Anton’s.
Vé©lez-Rivera said his congregation, in turn, is beginning to share coats from Anton’s not only to people through their coat closet ministry but to other area nonprofits and social agencies.
Anton’s held its first Coats for Kids drive in 1994, collecting 2,000 coats. In its 15-year history, Coats for Kids has collected, cleaned and distributed a total of 620,015 coats.
HOW TO HELP
For full details on Coats for Kids, visit antons.com/cfk
St. Peter’s Coat Closet is open 9 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of each month, November through February. The church is at 24 St. Peter St., Salem. For more information, call 978-745-2291 or visit stpeterssalem.org