Motorists who travel on Interstate 95 near Darien have an easy way to donate coats to those who need them.

Coats will be collected at the I-95 Darien northbound and southbound service plazas from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 19.

The event is conducted in collaboration with Star 99.9 WEZN-FM and Fox 95.9 WFOX-FM. The coats will be donated to Person-to-Person.

With more than 75,000 people living below the federal poverty level in Fairfield County and using their limited resources for essential living items like rent and food, there is a significant need for winter coats.

"Our goal, at CT Service Plazas, is to become a part of the communities that we serve here," Paul Landino, president and CEO of Project Service, said. "We are right along the highway so it is only fitting that we provide people driving by a convenient way to make a big difference in the life of someone who doesn't have a coat. Cold weather has arrived, and we hope to keep the people of Connecticut warm this winter."

Person-to-Person is a volunteer-driven, community-supported agency, which, through the sharing of goods and talents, responds to individuals and families who lack the basic necessities or resources to improve their lives. The donated coats will be distributed through a number of different P2P outreach programs, with the majority going to the Darien Clothing Center. Three hundred families go to the clothing center each week to receive a bag of clothing for each of their family members.

"We are thrilled to be starting a new partnership with the Connecticut Service Plazas," Pat Cage, In-Kind Manager at Person to Person, said. "There are so many in need, and we go through coats so quickly. We can easily give out 1,000 coats in a week. We greatly appreciate what the Service Plazas are doing, and so do the many people who need a warm coat."

Project Service LLC has a long-term contract with the state to renovate and operate the service plazas. Twelve of 23 service plazas have been completely renovated and reopened.

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