One Warm Coat to expand its efforts beyond Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO: One Warm Coat will soon bring its philanthropic vision to the rest of the nation.

SAN FRANCISCO: One Warm Coat will soon bring its philanthropic vision to the rest of the nation.

Founded in 1992, the nonprofit strives to collect coats for the homeless and others in need in the Bay Area. Each Thanksgiving, the organization delivers the coats - as many as 5,000 - it has spent the year collecting.

"Three years ago, we thought this was such a good idea, we wanted to take it national," said national coordinator Sherri Lewis Wood. "So last year we went to the national Girl Scouts convention, and got them involved.

Since October, they've collected more than 15,000 coats in more than 25 states."

J. Stokes & Associates, based in Walnut Creek, CA, is offering its PR expertise pro bono to help the nonprofit raise its visibility across the country.

"We are going to roll this out across the country, market by market," said EVP Dan Stokes. "We're going to focus on their partnerships with the Girl Scouts and Clorox to raise awareness."

Wood said, "We are a lean, mean organization, so we're not interested in advertising.

PR is the most efficient way to get our message out."

She added that the economic downturn, which has hindered many other nonprofits' fundraising efforts, would not be a factor. "That's the beauty of One Warm Coat. It's just people helping in a very simple but meaningful way," she explained.

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