New Yorkers deliver hot meals and warm coats to the city’s vulnerable on Christmas

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -- New Yorkers came out on Christmas to help deliver gifts of a hot meal and a warm coat in the true spirit of the holiday.

Volunteers from across the city helped Citymeals-on-Wheels provide thousands of meals to elderly homebound New Yorkers.

This Christmas, the organization made it possible for more than 8,700 older New Yorkers to enjoy a holiday meal, through both deliveries to their homes and at senior centers.

“Our dedicated Citymeals volunteers celebrate this season of giving by bringing joy into the lives of our isolated older neighbors,” said Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals-on-Wheels.

Dozens of homeless men and women lined up outside the NYC Rescue Mission early Christmas morning, with the hopes of picking up a warm winter coat at the 26th Annual New York Cares coat drive.

“There are more people sleeping in the shelter system now than have been in many years, and we’re feeling that at the coat drive,” said Gary Bagley, executive director of New York Cares. “

“There are more applications for coats coming in every year. The need is greater.”

So far, 34,000 coats have been collected. It means there will be a huge push in the next week to meet the goal of 100,000 coats.

Collections will continue through Dec. 31 at 300 public locations around the 5 boroughs, including Grand Central, Penn Station and Police Precincts.

For more information about coat drive locations go to www.newyorkcares.org.

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