By Michelle Cohen
The Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley is sponsoring a Coats & Cocoa Drive this October to ensure that children in need in the Lehigh Valley have warm clothing and a favorite holiday treat in time for the cold weather.
The coats will be donated to the Jewish Family Service Community Food Pantry, where children’s coats are in great demand, said Rebecca Axelrod-Cooper, community impact coordinator at Jewish Family Service. It’s particularly special when a child can select his or her own coat, she said.
Cocoa is a way for children to not only stay warm in the winter, but also to fit in with their friends and experience a winter joy they might not have been able to otherwise, Axelrod-Cooper said.
Aaron Gorodzinsky, director of outreach and community relations at the Jewish Federation, urged people to get involved with the Coats & Cocoa Drive. Whether that means attending the PJ Library event in the JCC sukkah on Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. where the price of admission is a coat and a box of cocoa mix, or simply bringing coats and cocoa to JFS or dropping them off at the JCC or the Jewish Day School, “it’s our responsibility to ensure that we play our part to ensure that the younger generations have the necessary tools to succeed,” he said, adding that “it wouldn’t be responsible of us to spend another winter knowing that there are kids in our community without jackets.” As for the cocoa, “we all share memories of cocoa with our families,” Gorodzinsky said. “We want to go beyond the basic necessities to ensure that kids in our community can build happy memories this winter.”
New or gently used children’s coats, size infant to 16, and boxes of cocoa mix may be dropped off at JFS or the collection bins at the JCC or JDS throughout the month of October. PJ Library families are invited to join the Young Adult Division and Jewish Family Service in the JCC sukkah on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 2 p.m. for a Sukkot program. Admission is a coat and box of cocoa mix.