Mayor's WINS Address
Hear the Mayor's Message
Whether you're celebrating the first night of Hannukah tonight, preparing for Christmas - which is now less than two weeks away - or celebrating in some other way, the holiday season is the time of year we count our blessings, and realize that we not only live in the greatest city in the world, but have the unique opportunity to help our neighbors in need.
Earlier this month, Police Commissioner Howard Safir and I launched the 10th Annual New York Cares Coat Drive at the Bowery Mission. The drive, which will run through December 31, collects gently used coats and distributes them to homeless shelters, community organizations, centers for battered women, people with HIV/AIDS, and others in need. Last year over 80,000 New Yorkers in need received coats, and this year we hope to top that number. There are over 600 drop-off sites throughout the metropolitan area, including all NYPD precincts, Blockbuster Video Stores, Loews Cineplex theaters, and participating Con Edison business offices, Home Depot stores, and NCA drycleaners - as well as sites in Grand Central and Penn Stations.
Another wonderful holiday tradition that brings assistance to New Yorkers who need it is the City Harvest Food Drive, now in its 15th year. This year City Harvest hopes to deliver 60,000 pounds of non-perishable donations to the City's food pantries. But they can't do it without your generosity. Through January 16, New Yorkers are encouraged to drop off their donations at any police precinct or firehouse, or at any Modell's sporting goods store.
And if you want your donation to have a particularly personal touch, here's another idea. The Mayor's Office staff answers letters to Santa Claus sent by children in need. Last year we provided more than 125 families with toys, clothing and in one case a Christmas tree decorated with ornaments. If you want to answer some of these letters - even just one - stop by the main branch of the U.S. Post Office at 33rd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. There are more than 200,000 letters waiting to be answered.
Whatever you can afford to give, I hope you, your family, and your friends have a wonderful - and peaceful - holiday season. From Gracie Mansion, this is Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
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