WHITE PLAINS, NY — Franchise new car dealers in downstate New York are turning cars into coats this holiday season, with dealers purchasing brand new winter coats for children in need.
Members of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association are buying coats by raising money from members of their Association for each car sold in November and December, as well as donating thousands of dollars more, to provide winter coats to children in Westchester, the lower Hudson Valley, as well as New York City and Long Island.
Families throughout the region are in greater need than ever this winter because of the devastation of the new coronavirus. The dealers association teamed up with Operation Warm, a national non-profit organization dedicated to donating coats, which received more coat requests by September this year than it did all last winter.
The dealers association is helping to raise donations from some of its more than 400 franchise dealers. On Tuesday, The Premier Collection, LLC auto group, which owns nine dealerships including Volvo Cars of White Plains, donated $5,000 — enough for 250 brand new coats — to Operation Warm for distribution to Westhab, Westchester’s largest provider of housing and services for the homeless, and largest non-profit developer of affordable and supportive housing, and the YWCA White Plains and Central Westchester.
“New car and truck dealers in local communities all over metro New York are some of the largest contributors to charities each year. One of the most important efforts occurs during the cold winter months when New Yorkers need winter coats. It is the enormous generosity of these vital small business owners, their employees and customers that makes the cold months a little easier for people in need of assistance,” said dealers association President Mark Schienberg. “This has been a difficult year for all businesses, but auto dealers have once again stepped up to lead the way in helping those who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the economic blow it has dealt to so many families.”
“Westhab works tirelessly to help the families we serve secure permanent housing and pursue their goals,” said Westhab President and CEO Rich Nightingale. “We simply couldn’t do this work without the support from our neighbors and friends. We want to thank The Premier Collection and Operation Warm for making sure the young people we serve will be safe and warm this winter season with 250 new coats.”
The dealers association has been the largest multi-location collector of winter coats for the annual New York Cares coat drive, collecting over 60,000 coats. This year, because of COVID safety restrictions, dealers cannot collect coats, so the dealers association turned to Operation Warm to continue its coat drive tradition by donating funds to purchase brand new coats.
To date, this effort has resulted in donations to buy more than 2,000 coats for New Yorkers in need.
Association dealers have donated more than $21 million to philanthropic causes in 2019. The association represents franchised new car dealerships throughout the 12 downstate counties of New York that support more than 71,000 jobs.
Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that manufactures brand-new, high-quality coats for children in need. The organization aims to donate 500,000 coats during the winter of 2020-21.