With the temperature starting to drop outside, everyone needs to make sure they can stay warm. That is where the annual coat drive in Chicago, led by Omar Hussain and Matt Diechl, is making a difference. Every year, Hussain and Diechl host an annual coat drive. With temperatures in Chicago regularly dipping below zero degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, coats are always needed. Unfortunately, with the popularity of the coat drive skyrocketing in recent years, the venue needed a new building this year.
This Year’s Drive Was at the Builders Building
This year, Hussain and Diechl’s annual coat drive was held at the Builders Building, according to this recent press release. The building is located at 222 North LaSalle Street and was able to accommodate far more people than before. The coat drive had thousands of people attend, which is exceptional because countless people need a new coat this winter. Because of the massive crowd, the coat drive was moved to the Builders Building, and the event raised over 2,000 new coats in total!
An Entertaining Event for Everyone Who Attends
Hussain and Diechl have been floored by the event’s support, which has given them the resources to expand the annual drive. This year, some of the best restaurants in the city participated, providing fantastic food and drinks. Then local restaurants committed to providing refreshments. In addition, live music from some of the most popular local artists was provided. Because of the tremendous support from the community, it will be exciting to see how future events unfold. The food, drinks, and music were fantastic this year.
The Roots of the Event: Serving Those in Need
Close to 10 years ago, both Hussain and Diechl made an annual pilgrimage to an orphanage in Humboldt Park. The goal of the visit was simple: Hussain and Diechl wanted to learn how they could help every child who lived there. Even though children at an orphanage have a wide variety of needs, the biggest one is coats.
It is difficult to overstate just how cold it can get in Chicago during the winter. Even though temperatures regularly drop to zero, the wind chill makes it even worse. Because Chicago sits on the lake, it can get incredibly windy, making the cold temperatures even more difficult to bear.
Massive Support From Friends and Family
After visiting the orphanage, Hussain and Diechl had a potluck for friends and family members during the holiday season. Of course, everyone was asking what types of foods and drinks they could bring. Instead, the founders responded by asking everyone to bring coats. Close to three dozen guests supplied 50 coats for the potluck, and the founders were shocked.
Everyone made a trip to the orphanage to donate the coats, and the look on the kids’ faces was priceless. This fulfilling feeling pushed the founders to make it an annual event.
The Coat Drive Now Takes Place Annually
Now, ten years later, the coat drive still takes place annually. Countless people across the city require coats this year, and the founders were excited to see the massive turnout from the public. The goal is to give back to a city that the founders have called home. Just as it has always been, the event was free. The only request is that everyone who shows up to the event brings a coat. There is always someone who sorely needs it, and the founders were excited to see the mountain of coats piled in the Builders Building this year.