Chicopee business owner collecting coats for those in need | News

CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The first Northeast of the year is behind us, but we still have a long stretch into spring.

That’s why a downtown Chicopee store is hosting a coat drive to help keep everyone warm this season, and the donations have been pouring in.

The coat rack located outside La Diaspora in Chicopee has a sign placed on top that reads, “it’s cold, take one if you need it.”

“We would love for anyone in the community who is in need or if you know someone in need and want to come get one for them, you are more than welcome,” owner Johnny Miranda said.

The storefront owner told Western Mass News that they began placing the rack outside about two weeks after a co-owner suggested the idea.

“She brought a few coats and those were gone, and I’m like, ‘well, apparently the need is there,'” Miranda said.

Since then, he said residents and businesses in the community have donated around 150 winter jackets.

“The biggest coat donation we got was from Bob the Bike Guy and the folks at Done Right,” Miranda told us.

The coat rack is placed outside from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Miranda said coats were flying off the coat rack. Even Saturday’s snowstorm couldn’t stop their efforts.

“We have an awning on the other door of our store, so I put the bracket in the awning so the wind and snow wouldn’t knock it over, and it was good to see people walking by and measuring their coat and try take them and take what they needed,” Miranda said.

He said that as long as there is a need in the community, the rack will be outside his La Diaspora store on Exchange Street.

“Until the cold weather subsides, we will always have this coat rack for those who need it,” he added.

Donations are welcome at any time. Miranda’s contact details were placed on the front door after hours.

“People have just taken advantage of the goodness of our community,” Miranda explained. “It takes a village to help those in need.”

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