'TIS THE SEASON
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|One of our favorite parts of the holiday season is the giving spirit of the industry. First, we go back a decade, when Prudential Douglas Elliman EVP Mary Anne Fusco had lunch delivered to her office during a bitter January. The delivery man had nothing but short sleeves to wear.|
|That's when Mary Anne made it her mission to put warm clothes directly in the hands of the poor. For the past 10 years, she's spearheaded a coat and scarf drive for St. Francis Food Pantry and Shelters—where we snapped Mary Anne, Sr. Edith Austing CDP, and St. Francis managing director Joseph Sano collecting coats yesterday. (Broken zippers and holes are mended by Sr. Edith.) The first year, she collected 100 coats, and gave one to the delivery man when he stopped by the office again—and she’ll never forget the smile on the man’s face. This year’s goal is to collect 500 coats, scarves, mittens, and hats by the end of March; she reports she's gathered 200 coats already from PDE colleagues, friends, and clients from condos and co-ops she represents throughout the city. Want to donate? E-mail Mary Anne.|
|She has the right idea: New York Cares says that 90% of homeless adults need a new, warm coat each winter because they have no place to keep one over the summer. We also stopped by 1740 Broadway, where Vornado’s Glen Weiss and Ron Lo Russo are collecting gently used winter coats for New York Cares on behalf of YM/WREA, one of the leading organizations participating in the charity’s 22nd annual coat drive. All the major landlords have joined in, they report (and in keeping with the times, Vornado’s bins have bedbug detectors). They’ll be collecting the coats through the end of the year (drop-off sites)—we hope they beat last year’s collection of nearly 1,400 coats.|
|Why decorate when you can donate? Last year, $13,000 worth of poinsettias adorned the lobby of the Hippodrome at 1120 Avenue of the Americas. But this year, visitors to the Edison Properties-owned building will see the simple sign above. This year, the landlord donated the money normally reserved for holiday decorations to Meals on Wheels in response to the ongoing economic downturn. The dollars donated will go directly to the Isaacs Neighborhood Senior Center at 415 E 93rd St, whose Meals on Wheels program has delivered more than 2.4M healthy meals to the homebound elderly on Manhattan’s East Side since its establishment in 1966.|