Pa. man collects coats for veterans, others in need

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Saturday, December 17, 2022
Pa. man collects coats for veterans, others in need
A Jenkintown man has stitched his community together through the cause of collecting coats. Today, he donated dozens to senior veterans.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "One coat means one person will be warmer on a cold night," said Joe Krause from Jenkintown, Pennsylvania.

It's a mission statement he's followed for 18 years since founding Krausey's Koat Drive. The annual collection was inspired by his late father-in-law and got its start during a broadcast at a Philadelphia Eagles game when Krause worked for 102.9 WMGK. That first year, they collected 333 coats.

Since then, he has scheduled his outreach in sync with the Philadelphia Eagles schedule. It also lines right up with the winter holidays.

"This year I'll surpass in totality over 300,000 coats," said Krause.

He relies on individual donations as well as support from local unions, nonprofits, and schools. Then, donations are made at shelters, on the streets, and in communities like Brith Sholom House in Philadelphia.

The 55+ apartment community has a strong veteran presence and has been instrumental in helping those like UESF certified housing inspector Dorothy Owens-Myers find a place for housing--insecure veterans.

"I housed approximately 9-10 veterans here at Brith Sholom," she said. "The need outside of coats and socks is a landlord that's going to give them a second chance."

Brith Sholom also creates community events, like today's holiday lunch, with the support of the nearby Sharon Baptist Church. And of course, they also hosted Krausey's Koat Drive today.

One coat recipient, Marine Corps Veteran Rico Hunter, was surprised by the whole thing.

"I'm grateful because I didn't ask for it," he said. "It was a blessing that we all need."

Speaking of need, Krause says he can use all the coat donations he can get this year.

"I try and fill what requests I get, but I'll never have enough," he said. "But the good news is we do what we can to help those in the moment and then prepare for our next collection."

To learn how to help Krausey's Koat Drive, visit their Facebook page.

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