ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35)
Dozens of people donated bags and bags of clothes for the needy Tuesday morning. It's part of a new initiative the Orlando Police Department started after an officer saw a homeless man sleeping in front of headquarters shivering with a sheet over his head. Police Officers stated they see more homeless people out in the streets without jackets or blankets this winter. But this morning turned out to be a huge success.
“We all have something that we can give, dig deep and pull it up and share,” said Marie Noble who donated her son’s jacket.
Noble’s son was a marine and so was Arthur Harrell. He’s been homeless for the past 5 months and was grateful to receive Noble’s jacket.
“One hand to another, timing is everything so it made me feel real good to accept it, I’m grateful,” said Arthur Harrell who held his shiny blue jacket. “I don’t have a jacket as you can see this is a wind breaker, it’s kind of chilly out here.”
The good word spread quickly and since 7am people started coming to the Orlando Police Department headquarters on Hughey Avenue to pick up blankets and coats from the bins.
“It's a blessing because a lot of homeless people down here that have nothing to put on," said Terry Miller who stays at the homeless shelter in downtown Orlando.
Orlando Police Deputy Chief Robert Anzueto started the “Blanket and Coat Drive-Thru” when he saw a homeless man shivering as he slept on the sidewalk last month.
“I felt really bad for him so I went back to my car and grabbed a blanket and gave it to him. And he was so appreciative and I’m like wow there are so many people out here that are under the same circumstances,” said Deputy Chief Robert Anzueto.
OPD started the donation drive internally and it was such a huge success Deputy Chief Anzueto said he wanted to open it up to the public. One car after another, people stopped by and donated what they could. The bins filled up so fast cops had to make several trips to the homeless shelter. And those in need couldn't be more grateful.
"For those who donated God bless you! Thank you all! Keep up the good work because you know in this world we all go through it and sometimes we just need a little push sometimes,” said Miller.
If you missed today’s donation OPD said you can donate your used or new clean jackets and blankets to any officer you see.