Sometimes it starts with with seeing one injustice in the world. Four years ago, New Jeresey Landmark Forum graduate Gini Mundy asked her family to give anything they were going to spend on her for Christmas to the Pediatric AIDS foundation. Upon receiving a check from Mundy’s family, someone from the foundation remarked that this money would allow for coats to be bought for a couple of the children. Mundy was horrified. With everything children with AIDS have to deal with, there are some who don’t even have coats? Mundy thought back to that moment when she began her Self-Expression and Leadership program soon thereafter.
She took on that every child from that hospital who needed a coat for the winter would get one. She soon had 60 coats collected, which was what was needed for that hospital. Friends from her Self-Expression program suggested that was too small. She collected more coats until she had a hundred, which covered another children’s hospital. She still heard the idea that she could do more. Mundy realized that if the children needed coats, then their families, who were often homeless, could use some themselves. Mundy collected a few hundred which covered the families of pediatric AIDS sufferers as well.
She didn’t stop there. It seemed wrong to her that any person should lack a coat during the winter. She found an organization named Elijah’s Closet in New Brunswick that personally delivered coats to the homeless during the winter. She got more coats than that organization needed and she moved onto a group called Home Front and provided coats for them. Eventually she had more than enough coats there as well. Finally she found Jersey Cares, the biggest donor of coats in the state. They were astonished when she showed up with a thousand coats.
Mundy didn’t do all of this herself. Throughout the four years she has run coat drives in New Jersey, she has gotten the generous partnership of many different businesses, schools and organizations that set out donation boxes to collect the coats, and other organizations to fulfill other functions–A storage facility stores the coats that were outgrowing Mundy’s basement, a dry cleaner cleans the coats at no charge, and so forth. When Mundy was hired by Monroe Chiropractic, her boss, Dr. Debra DeMarco, immediately told Mundy that she wanted to support her with the coat drive. Dr. Demarco not only adjusts Mundy’s work schedule so she can work on the coat drive, she has become a full partner in the project, which is now named “Baby It’s Cold Outside”.
For four years, Mundy has grown the coat project and more and more people have gotten involved. The 2007-2008 winter coat drive was the most successful ever–Mundy and DeMarco set a goal of 2,000 coats, and they ended up collecting 3,156, all distributed through Jersey Cares. To get involved, call Gini Mundy at Monroe Chiropractic Care at 732-521-1333 or email [email protected].