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YU News

Care Café: Giving the Gift of Warmth

On the brisk fall morning of Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022, the Wurzweiler School of Social Work Care Café program partnered with Harlem faith-based community partners to host an event entitled “Giving the Gift of Warmth: A Winter Coat Give-Away” at the Williams Institutional CME Church located at 2239 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (131/132nd street), New York, NY 10027.

Serving approximately 216 community members and their families with clothing, coats, health education information and personal protective equipment (PPE), the services proved to be essential toward improving the quality of life for those individuals who were present. Now in our second year, this sought-after event was well attended with a line forming around the corner and down the street with families waiting for the chance to select coats and clothing.

Care Café Intern Jackie R. works with volunteers while people look over the array of coats available.

The Care Café team established an onsite consultation service desk where community members were able to anonymously ask social services questions and obtain resources and referrals for housing, mental health, legal services, and general emotional support as needed. The demand for social work consultation lasted well beyond the hours of the drive, speaking to the need for these services at community events.

While appreciative for a coat during their visit, and with tears in their eyes, community members shared their gratitude for the opportunity to resolve some of their personal concerns with just a “moment of quiet” and expressed happiness to be in a “safe place” to discuss personal issues with a trusted person.

As social workers, reflective of every community engagement opportunity, we are ever mindful about our privilege, the strength of people, and commitment to serve.

The Care Café team will be hosting a few more clothing drives through the end of the year across Manhattan and the Bronx. Should you wish to donate coats or clothing, please contact us!

Special Thank You to all of the dedicated members of the Board of Human and Social Concern at Williams Institutional Church; the fearless leader, Sister Myra; and all other partners for your support and love!

Special Thanks to Care Café Intern Jackie R. for supporting the community through her efforts!

For more information about Care Café and our programming, please feel free to email us at or We are also available by phone: 646.592.6827. We would love to hear from you!