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Get Out: Holiday Coat Drive, Toy Collection

An in-depth look at some upcoming weekend events.

What better way to spend a holiday weekend than by helping those in need? Celebrate the spirit of the season by giving back to your community with friends and family members. Whether you choose to donate your used clothing or wrap and distribute toys, the opportunities to get involved are plentiful this weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Family Italian Deli and Caterers on Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook will hold its second annual recycled coat drive (). Clean, gently used coats that are brought into the deli this weekend will be distributed to needy families on Long Island. Since last year’s coat drive was a huge success, the deli’s owners are hoping for the same outpouring of generosity from local residents this year.

“We do this because we believe in giving back to the community,” said Bob Hughes, whose family owns the deli. “We go a little further than most coat drives because we actually sort the donated coats according to size and gender before we distribute them.”  The deli works with local soup kitchens and charitable organizations on a weekly basis, and the coat drive will be staffed by Hughes, his wife Maria and their children.

In addition, the Woodmere Fire Department will host the Rock and Wrap It Up Holiday Toy Collection on Saturday (). Since toy donations are down due to the economy, Rock and Wrap It Up has been collecting, sorting and wrapping toys throughout the month of December. On Christmas Eve, volunteers will gather at the fire house and caravan to the First Congressional Church in Rockaway Beach to distribute the gifts to local children.

Rock and Wrap It Up is a national organization dedicated to fighting poverty and hunger. To sign up to participate in the Woodmere Fire Department’s efforts, email dmandelbaum@rockandwrapitup.org. For more information and other volunteer opportunities through Rock and Wrap It Up, visit rockandwrapitup.org.

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