Wintertime typically is when people think of making charitable donations, and the holidays are traditionally an ideal time to give of your time, talent or treasures to the Metro Detroit and Michigan-based non-profit organizations that are near and dear to you and your family. This year, with the coronavirus challenging many charities, the need is even greater.
A variety of organizations are asking for clothing or winter coat donations in light of both holiday-giving drives as well as additional need resulting from the economic ups and downs of 2020. There are many groups seeking help, including a new one started by a recent Cleary University graduate, Jamar Bray. His organization, Jamar’s Jammies, is among the newest Metro Detroit charity drives, focusing on pajamas.
Bray started the charity pajama drive in 2018 when he was a college student and has led the effort for three years running. In the last two years, he’s collected and donated nearly 1,000 pairs of pajamas and hopes to increase that number this year.
Born and raised in Detroit, Bray said he always wanted fun pajamas to wear on Saturday mornings to watch his favorite cartoons before heading out to play baseball or basketball. He knows the importance of warm clothes, especially during the holiday season, and he was inspired by the giving nature of his parents and his grandmother. As he got older, Jamar wanted to do something to help others, especially children in need, so he created Jamar’s Jammies as a way to bring new pajamas to children in challenging situations.
People can donate youth pajamas (sizes 3T-XL) from now until Friday, December 11, at a Pajama Drop Box, at Cleary University’s Lyons Building (3760 Cleary Dr., Howell, MI 48843) during regular business hours. People can also purchase pajamas online and send them directly to Cleary University, attn: Jamar’s Jammies.
Other Metro Detroit organizations are putting together clothing and coat drives that they need people to support. Here are a few of them.
This past year, The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit was involved in providing 2,535,013 meals and 579,920 nights of shelter for the homeless. The Salvation Army uses $.87 of every dollar raised to provide direct services to people in need each and every day of the year. The Salvation Army is seeking clothing donations at its thrift stores as well as financial donations for the rest of its services.
This coat giveaway along with its sponsors, community partners and volunteers in 2019 gave away more than 5,500 new coats and winter accessories around Michigan. It also provided more than 4,000 meals to Southeastern Michigan residents. Drop-off locations are found around the area and at JCPenney stores.
For over 130 years, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Detroit has given back to Southeastern Michigan, regardless of creed, ethnic or social background or gender. According to its creed, “All are welcome at our door.” It helps households through donations, food drives and energy-bill assistance. Its stores across Metro Detroit offer clothing and household goods.
People may know this store for its large selection and many, many coats. But it also holds an annual coat drive in its stores. Plus, for every donation of a gently used coat, Burlington Coat Factory will give donors a coupon for 10% off a new coat in its stores. The retailer partners with Delivering Good to make this coat drive possible.