PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While many around Southern New England caught the holiday-shopping bug on Friday, a different kind of event is helping those less fortunate stay warm this winter.
Volunteers from the Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange set up on the lawn of the Rhode Island State House, distributing free coats and other winter gear to those in need.
Co-organizer Lauren Testoni said they gave out 1,500 coats this year.
She also said the goal of the event, now in its 23rd year, is to not only provide warm coats but also highlight the negative effects of consumerism.
“It was held purposely on the State House lawn, steps away from the Providence Place mall, where people will be shopping for Black Friday deals,” Testoni said.
Organizers say extra financial donations this year helped create a special children’s coat rack and pay for the cost of transporting hundreds of coats to the State House.