UPPER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WLVT) - Last month, the Upper Macungie Township Police Department (UMTPD) kicked off its annual coat drive, collecting coats and other items for people in the community. The department wrapped up the drive Thursday with a grand total of 248 coats and jackets.
"I'm always kind of blown away at the generosity of our residents, and 2019 is no different," said Lt. Peter Nickischer. "We have a lot of beautiful jackets here that are really going to help people this season. So, of course, we're very excited."
UMTPD has collected coats since 2016. This year, police teamed up with Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry to keep the community warm.
"For us, it's a matter of helping anyone in the Lehigh Valley," Nickischer said. "In Upper Macungie Township especially, we have multiple, numerous people passing through the area on their way to Reading, on their way to Allentown, and you know, we're always here to lend a helping hand."
The help goes beyond coats and jackets. The department participates in the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program, too.
"We collect toys in our lobby. People can drop off new, unwrapped toys, but it's not just that," Nickischer explained. "A ULINE representative dropped off 8, 9, 10 huge bags of toys to go along with the toys that were donated by our residents."
He said it's been another successful year, and there are no plans of stopping.
"We'll be right back at it, and, you know, hopefully topping the numbers from this year," he said. "Who knows?"
Parkland C.A.R.E.S. handed out the coats on Sunday at a special event for those who use the pantry.