For many Florida residents, the rare cold snap is a welcome change during the winter months.
But for those without a home, that drop in temperature can make for long — and potentially dangerous — nights outside.
That’s why Armstrong Air & Heating has teamed up with Matthew’s Hope to organize a Winter Wear Drive. The drive will collect new or used winter clothing, including coats, scarves, mittens and sweaters, for distribution to families in need. This is the first time the company is hosting what it hopes to turn into an annual event, and Tom Hyatt, Armstrong’s director of sales and marketing, hopes the drive will help Matthew’s Hope in its mission.
“We’re pretty excited,” Hyatt said. “So far, we’ve had a pretty good turnout with our own employees. One of the first donations was through a companywide push of all our employees and partners — we have about 110 employees in the Winter Garden area ... so we have a good opportunity to collect with the drive for Matthew’s Hope to go out and bless people.”
There are three drop-off locations for anyone wishing to donate: Armstrong Air and Heating, Matthew’s Hope and the Ocoee Taco Company. It’s been a slow start in terms of donations from local residents, but Hyatt is optimistic donations will pick up when the cooler weather comes to the area this weekend.
“We’re just trying to get people to think about those in need and how we can give back to our neighbors,” Hyatt said. “There are families in our backyard that are in need.”
The idea was developed by Hyatt and Paul Richards, the company president. Hyatt suggested those who cannot donate clothing help support Matthew’s Hope by volunteering a few hours of their time or donating food to the pantry.
“We execute ideas that can tie us to the community and help us fill the needs of the community,” Hyatt said. “And every year, when it starts to get very cold, you can drive down the streets of Orlando and see that people need clothing, you know, people need protective wear. And with that being said, we wanted to make sure that this year we would do our part to make sure that everybody stays warm.”
Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected].