Chesapeake Utilities seeks warms coats for the needy

 

Code Purple representatives Becky Martin (third from left, front) and Diane Kaskeski (fifth from left, front) stand with members of the Chesapeake Utilities Corp. team as they begin to load the Code Purple bus with coat donations collected at the company’s groundbreaking event in Dover last week. Submitted photo

Code Purple representatives Becky Martin (third from left, front) and Diane Kaskeski (fifth from left, front) stand with members of the Chesapeake Utilities Corp. team as they begin to load the Code Purple bus with coat donations collected at the company’s groundbreaking event in Dover last week. Submitted photo

DOVER — When Chesapeake Utilities Corp. held a groundbreaking event for its new business campus adjacent to the Blue Hen Corporate Center recently it made sure employees showed up wearing purple T-shirts in honor of Code Purple.

It wasn’t just a fashion statement.

Chesapeake Utilities showed it was serious about giving back to the community on Monday when it announced a partnership with Code Purple to collect new and gently used winter coats this fall for individuals and families in need.

Code Purple is a Delaware-based non-profit organization that helps the homeless and people in need.

Becky Martin, founder of Code Purple Kent County, said it is important to keep those people less fortunate warm during the cold bite of the fall and winter seasons ahead.

“Coats are not a luxury, but an essential protection for people in need who may be outside when temperatures drop below freezing,” she said. “It is crucial to have the support of local companies to help us in our mission.

(From left) Dean Holden, Mike Clevens and Vince Fiorelli of Chesapeake Utilities stand in the packed Code Purple bus as they launch the company’s Code Purple Coat Drive initiative. Submitted photo

(From left) Dean Holden, Mike Clevens and Vince Fiorelli of Chesapeake Utilities stand in the packed Code Purple bus as they launch the company’s Code Purple Coat Drive initiative. Submitted photo

“Working together, we can make a stronger impact and provide those in need with shelter and comfort they otherwise would not get.”

Chesapeake Utilities’ coat drive will last until Nov. 18. Donation boxes are located at Chesapeake Utilities’ office locations throughout Delaware.

The coats will be distributed on Code Purple’s Christmas Giving Day on Dec. 3, which will be held from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the old Boys and Girls Club located at 375 Simon Circle in Dover.

Code Purple helped more than 750 people during its Giving Day last season.

“As our employees interact with members of our community on a daily basis and see the struggles that many face during the colder months, we look for ways to help people and are proud to partner with Code Purple,” said Michael P. McMasters, Chesapeake’s president and chief executive officer.

“Our employees take great pride in helping our communities and creating meaningful connections where we live and work. We hope that our customers and community members will join us in this coat drive to help keep our neighbors warm this winter.”

As part of the coat drive, Chesapeake employees are partnering with local community groups to collect new and gently used coats and cold weather accessories including gloves, hats and scarves.

The company encourages the public’s participation in the collection effort as well. Boxes are available for coat drop-off at three company walk-in locations:

• Chesapeake Utilities, 350 S. Queen Street, Dover

• Sharp Energy, 5011 N. DuPont Highway, Dover

• Sharp Energy, 22945 E. Piney Grove Road, Georgetown

Ms. Martin has helped develop a network of shelters throughout the county for people to go to when the temperatures drop below 32 degrees. She said the organization works year-round to help those in need.

She appreciates Chesapeake’s efforts.

“The mission of Code Purple Kent County is to help people who are homeless find a place of refuge or shelter when winter weather conditions become too dangerous for individuals or families to remain outside,” said Ms. Martin.

“Partnering with Chesapeake Utilities Corp. and the local community to collect coats and winter weather clothing accessories provides us with the resources we need to help those in need.”

Chesapeake also supports the Delmarva community through the company’s annual Sharing Fund, also known as the Chesapeake Emergency Energy Recipient Program.

The program ensures that the elderly, ill and those facing financial hardship are not forgotten during the cold winter months when energy bills are at their peak.

Over the last decade, Chesapeake Sharing has distributed more than 2,100 grants totaling more than $475,000 to Delmarva families in need of financial assistance.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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