By Paul Kutz, Director of External Relations
One of my responsibilities as Director of External Relations is to channel the many requests for contributions — including vehicles, office equipment, volunteer hours, and money — we receive from the community. Comporium is committed to giving back to the communities we serve, and it’s an honor to be part of these life-changing projects.
I was asked recently if certain contributions were particularly memorable or rewarding for me. Many projects came to mind, but at the top of the list was the Winter Warm-Up coat drive held for the first time in January 2015.
The idea for Winter Warm-Up came from Stefanie Stacks, Marketing Product Coordinator at Comporium. She asked me if Comporium would be willing to match the coat donations received from the community. I agreed, and together we estimated about 100 coats might be collected (if we were lucky).
Comporium partnered with local TV news station CN2, Long's Cleaners and United Way to hold the coat drive for new and gently used coats of all sizes. The drive took place in York and Lancaster Counties and in the Brevard community. Our timing was excellent, as these areas were experiencing some of the most miserably cold temperatures ever.
Holy cow! The community really responded to Winter Warm-Up! We reached 200 coats, then 300 coats, then 400 coats, and the numbers just kept rising. Stefanie took Comporium’s matching donation to Sam’s Club to buy more new coats, and the manager there got tears in his eyes about Winter Warm-Up. The store deeply discounted some of the coats and gave others to us for free.
After all the winter coats were collected and counted, the grand total came to 1,333. United Way was astounded by how many coats we had and gratefully got to work distributing them to those in need.
The overwhelming success of Winter Warm-Up was such a pleasant surprise to me. Many community agencies, residents and businesses came together and bent over backwards for this new project. We were doing high fives at the end, excited about what we’d accomplished as a team. I want to thank everyone again for giving generously to Winter Warm-Up. It still warms my heart.