December 14 2018,  Revere

Chamber of Commerce hosts winter coats donation drive

By Tara Vocino

Chamber of Commerce board members and residents donated new winter apparel and toys for needy Revere Public Schools students during the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party at the Comfort Inn & Suites on Friday night.

“There are approximately 147 registered homeless/needy children in Revere, and that number is probably higher than reported,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wendy Millar-Page said. “We try hard to make sure those citizens are part of our community and that we take care of each other.”

Coat donors Mary and Tom Turner said the reported number was higher than they thought, and they felt led to give to an overwhelming community need. “Because we are blessed and grateful, we are glad to help,” said coat donor Mary Turner, who gave blue and purple coats, hats and gloves to needy children.

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Members Maria and Steve Williams donated two boys’, two girls’ and one unisex Gap sweatshirt since they’re “in style.” “Because they don’t have a lot, it’s nice to donate something that they need,” Maria Williams said.

Coat Drive Co-Organizer/Ward 4 Councillor Patrick Keefe said they work with School Resource Officer Joseph Singer regarding who is eligible to receive winter apparel or toys. Once selected students are determined to be eligible, they give out the donations, no questions asked, so as to not make the recipients uncomfortable, according to Keefe.

“They don’t necessarily have to be homeless, but they’re in a tough spot,” Keefe said. “We see these kids walking to school in 10 degree weather with barely sweatshirts on.”