Coat Drive Protests Black Friday

Nov 28, 2014

While some people shopped early on Black Friday at the Providence Place Mall, others combed coat racks across the street on the Statehouse lawn. The 18th annual “Buy Nothing Winter Coat Exchange” collected hundreds of coats across 11 different sites for people in need.

It was a busy intersection on the Statehouse lawn, as people lined up with their cars to drop off bags of coats. Joyce Melton of Warwick was one of those coat donors.

Any remaining coats will go to charities that will continue to give them away throughout the winter.
Credit Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

“I feel as though this [coat drive] is important because when you have a lot, you need to give back. And I’ve been very fortunate in life,” said Melton.

Coats were snatched up as quickly as they were hung. Volunteer Donald Rhodes said the coat drive is always a success each year.

“People are just coming by and you think they are going shopping but all of sudden, they’re just dropping off bags of coats and it’s just wonderful,” said Rhodes.

Spokesman Greg Gerritt said the event tries to respond to inequalities driven by consumerism.  Gerritt organizes the collection site between the shopping mall and the statehouse.

“We find that we both have a great protest against the consumerism that’s killing our country and providing something that people really need, which is warm clothing in the winter,” said Gerritt.

Ten other sites around the state collected coats. Any remaining coats will go to charities that will continue to give them away throughout the winter.

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