The Marblehead School of Ballet (MSB) has begun collecting coats and pajamas for their annual winter coat/pajama drive for Needy. Donated items can be dropped off at their studio, located at 115 Pleasant St., until Dec. 10.
“Donations of new or gently used warm winter coats for children and adults, without broken zippers, rips, tears, or stains are welcome. The drive is also collecting new pajamas for children, zero to six years of age,” according to a press release from MSB.
The coat and pajama drive is part of MSB’s annual Community Appreciation Week that will run from Dec. 2 to Dec. 8. During this week the studio will be offering “special promotions” to the public, such as a free musical theater class.
“On Saturday, Dec. 3, catch the Marblehead School of Ballet in Marblehead’s annual holiday parade. After the parade, a Musical Theatre class will be taught from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.,” the press release said. “The class will be presented free-of-charge for children, teenagers, and adults.”
For the coat drive, the donated items are sent to Anton’s Cleaners for cleaning. They are then distributed through the Coats for Kids Partners Distribution Network to many different organizations throughout the state including Women’s Lunch Place, the press release said.
Pajamas that are donated will be given to the non-profit organization Lynn Economic Opportunity to hand out.
“This is the third annual coat drive for the Marblehead School of Ballet and North Shore Civic Ballet, we’re collaborating to make this happen,” Paula Shiff, MSB director, said.
The idea for the coat drive came up a few years ago when MSB was trying to find a way to help others. Shiff said pajamas were added on later when a board member at MSB who was “already collecting pajamas for LEO and once our coat drive started to become so successful, she asked us if we would add the pajamas and we said of course.”
“The arts, we’ve been blessed with a great deal of support for the arts. Although we’ve always had many struggles, we’ve been blessed with a great deal of support and it only feels right that then we, in turn, give to others who are in need,” Shiff said.
While MSB started the coat drive before the COVID-19 pandemic, she said now there are even more people in need of winter coats.
“It’s so important, a coat is such a basic item of clothing in the winter, but not everybody has one,” Shiff said. “And it’s really important that we can help each other and help the community and keep people warm in the winter.”