Niagara Gazette — For those who volunteer each year, the experience never changes. They see the same people come through the doors, get to know the families. In Niagara Falls, there's a lot of problems with poverty and so many families are in need of something as essential as a winter coat.
It's helping those individuals which keeps Joe Studi, a Niagara Falls resident who volunteers with the St. Vincent DePaul Society, coming back to the coat distributions for more than 10 years.
"I love to see the people year after year," he said. "You get to know them. and there's so much need for people in Niagara Falls."
Those return participants sometimes do a little more than grab coats from the racks, too, Joe Petrozzi said. Some of his repeat customers bring their previous coats from the last few years back with them because their children have outgrown them. They're re-donated back into the program where they can reach a new individual in need.
It's being able to help these children and their parents, seeing the smiles on their faces as they pull new coats off the racks and try them on and the way they look at him and the ten volunteers as they find the one they like, which pushes him to keep coming back to the program he started all those years ago, he said.
"Some of the kids come up to me and say 'look at my new coat,' " he said. "They're overjoyed. And we don't give them a coat, they pick it out themselves. That's what makes this so nice. It makes you feel good."COATS FOR KIDS Another coat distribution will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 24 at Capitol Cleaners, 1227 Main St.