Employees donate nearly 100 coats to local non-profit

For the sixth consecutive year, Facilities Services employees donated winter coats and accessories to the non-profit organization The Living Room Café, located in Woodlawn, which provides restaurant-style meals to homeless or poor men, women and families in a therapeutic community that promotes dignity and respect.

According to organizer LaKeesha Carter, supervisor, accounts payable, FS employees donated 98 coats and four scarfs – making this the most successful coat donation thus far.

Carter handed over the collection Living Room Café volunteer Caesarei Marsh on a crisp November morning, and they quickly were put to good use. With freezing temperatures setting in across metro Chicago nearly a month ahead of the technical start of the winter season, the donation arrived at just the right time for one South Side family.

Within hours of pickup from Harper Court, “Mr. Marsh informed me when he got back a family was in his office in need of the coats. We donated the coats exactly when they were needed,” she said.

This year’s donation is up from last’s year collection of 35 coats, and Carter said she felt the location for the drop-off box in Harper Court helped to increase awareness among FS employees.

“Mr. Marsh would be happy with anything, even 10 coats would make him happy,” Carter said. “But to hand over almost 100, he was like, ‘Wow. That’s a lot of coats. That’s going to help a lot of people.’”

-- By Amy Lee, assistant director, communications

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