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As the temperatures cool down, life will become a whole lot more difficult for those experiencing homelessness in the Twin Cities. Thousands of people who are in desperate need of warm coats, hats and mittens will be getting all three… and a whole lot more thanks to Coated in Love.
The Plymouth-based nonprofit is hosting the 3rd Annual 3000 Acts of Kindness event at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Monday, December 11, 2023. The purpose of the event is to provide hope, help and resources to people experiencing homelessness, and to all who are in need.
One of the corporate sponsors of this year’s event is Chick-fil-A Minnesota, which hosted a special promotion on October 19. All customers who brought a new hat, gloves or mittens to one of the company's Minnesota restaurants that day to donate received a free chicken sandwich. Chick-fil-A Minnesota hopes to collect enough hats, gloves and mittens between now and October 30th to serve all 4,000 people expected to attend the event this year.
In addition to Chick-fil-A Minnesota, other companies helping out with donation drives include Associated Bank branches throughout the Twin Cities, which are collecting coats and other winter gear; Knowledge Computers in Plymouth, which is accepting winter gear; and Reflect Salons, which just wrapped up a drive that collect donated toiletry items. Red Wing Shoes is also planning to contribute by donating some footwear.
The day of the event, Chick-fil-A is donating lunch for all guests, who will also receive free haircuts, foot care, dental screening and access to many services to offer assistance. New this year, people who were formerly experiencing homelessness, along with former addicts who are in recovery, will share their personal stories and give hope and encouragement to all.
“I think what sets this event apart is the attention we will be giving to each individual. People who come can have the whole day with someone being there with them, walking with them and helping them navigate everything,” said Danielle Igbanugo, founder of both 3000 Acts of Kindness and Coated in Love. “They will have a day of being treated with love and dignity.”
Members of the general public are being asked to provide monetary donations to help make the event happen, to purchase items off the Amazon Wish List and to sign up to volunteer. Information about how to get involved is on the website, CoatedinLove.org/events
Igbanugo estimates this year’s event will attract 4,000 people. That’s more than triple the 900 people who came the first year, and a lot more than the 2022 figure of 2,751 guests served.