Too many coats clogging up your closet?

You can get your Molly Maid cleaner to take them off your hands and help put them on the backs of those in need.

The near constant cold weather compounded by the recession has doubly affected the Salvation Army’s coat donation stockpile.

“This time of year is when thrift stores would have the most challenge in keeping supplies coming in,” said Major Byron Jacobs, public relations director for the Ontario Great Lakes division of the Salvation Army.

Fewer people are donating, preferring to hang onto their jackets as money is tight. But as nearly a dozen cold alerts have already been called in the city, winter coverings are desperately needed, Jacobs said.

Molly Maid is offering its help by having its employees collect donated coats from their customers, the company announced yesterday.

There are 14 local Molly Maid employees who clean 400 homes in and around Hamilton. “Right now, we’re in the middle of winter,” Jacobs said. “To have a company come in like this and say, ‘We can do something’ is really valuable. As well, it helps boost our supply by connecting to a new clientele.”

The need for winter jackets, food and clothing in Hamilton has gone up by 35 per cent, or 500 additional families, since the fall, Jacobs said, adding that it has a lot to do with the number of layoffs in the city.

Just last week, Hamilton Health Sciences advised it was going to axe 250 jobs. And there have been 520 workers let go from U.S. Steel Canada, a figure that grew after the company announced another round of layoffs in late December.

“In this economy, what we’re mostly concerned with is: are people having their basic needs met?” Jacobs said. “Those basic needs include food, clothing and warmth.”

The coat drive will take place over four weeks for the month of February. So far, the Salvation Army has collected 50 coats.

Molly Maid Canada has conducted clothing and food drives in the past, but this is the first year for the coat drive, said Aaron Abrams, Vice President and General Manager of Molly Maid.

The idea came from a franchise owner in Burnaby, B.C. and they were spurred to conduct the drive nationally, Abrams said.

– Elisabeth Johns, The Hamilton Spectator,



MOLLY MAID was founded in Mississauga, Ontario, in 1979. From its early beginnings, MOLLY MAID has gone on to clean homes in seven countries on three continents including the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Portugal. MOLLY MAID is the largest Canadian-based cleaning company in the world.

MOLLY MAID offers a guaranteed, flexible and affordable residential cleaning service. Staff are fully insured and bonded, work in teams of two and arrive in MOLLY MAID branded vehicles, bringing with them all the necessary cleaning equipment and supplies.


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and 121 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, provides shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction.

When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.

For more information contact Aaron Abrams at 1-800-663-6243 or