United Way distributes 700,000 blankets, pillows donated by Delta Air Lines as winter approaches

With winter closing in and necessities in short supply due to COVID-19, United Way of Westchester and Putnam (UWWP) will be giving away 700,000 duvets, blankets and pillows to be distributed to social services agencies, schools, homeless shelters in Westchester, the Bronx and other locations in the metro area.

The shipment of desperately needed supplies are thanks to Delta Air Lines and a coalition of groups including Good360, Penske Logistics, and Diamond Properties, who worked together to make sure the supplies got into the hands of those who needed them most.

Several hundred agencies are expected to receive goods from Monday, October 26th through Friday, November 13th.

“More than 40% of our neighbors are living in poverty, paycheck to paycheck or are food insecure right now. Winter is always a difficult time, but with the pandemic and the depletion of supplies, these blankets and pillows generously donated by Delta Air Lines will keep hundreds of thousands of our neighbors warm in the coming months. We also want to thank Good360, Penske Logistics and Diamond Properties for the assistance,” said Tom Gabriel, president and CEO of United Way of Westchester and Putnam. “It is partnerships like these that help us to fulfill our mission to lift up people in crisis to self-sufficiency.’’

As a Good360 nonprofit partner, UWWP has access to highly needed, donated goods that Good360 sources from hundreds of socially responsible corporate donors such as Delta Air Lines. UWWP then distributes these products to local, vetted nonprofits. To help facilitate this donation, Penske donated transportation services to deliver the goods to a Mount Kisco warehouse that was provided by Diamond Properties.

Gabriel said that in the past year, United Way has provided $2 million of donations through the Essential Goods for Basic Needs program, which helps to funnel millions in corporate and other donations to the public through its not-for-profit partnerships.

“We are proud to partner with United Way to reach organizations, shelters and communities in need across the country,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s Senior Vice President – In-Flight Service. “Our mission is to connect the world and giving back is a big part of that. Now more than ever, we must remember to come together, give what we can and support those who need it most.”

Marc Althen, Penske Logistics president said, “We are very pleased to support the United Way of Westchester and Putnam with their transportation needs regarding this generous donation from Delta Air Lines. Our company has a proud history of supporting the United Way.”

“During this time of tremendous need, strong collaborations with our nonprofit partners and corporate donors allow us to maximize our impact and get essential items to people facing challenging circumstances,” said Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360. “In 2020, Good360 is forecasted to distribute more than $600 million in needed goods, an increase of nearly double over 2019. We are thankful to our partners and we look forward to the continued efforts to help those in need.” 

Mark Blandford, EVP of Diamond Properties, which donated the warehouse space for the two week distribution, said, “We are delighted to be part of the efforts of the United Way of Westchester and Putnam by donating a warehouse for distribution of goods collected by donors everywhere. The United Way has been supporting families in our communities for over 100 years and their work is more important than ever. We are grateful for the opportunity to give our support.”    

The Rev. Denise Pickell of the Trinity United Methodist Church in White Plains said that her church would be making a distribution to some families in need shortly and that the church was very grateful for the donation.

“This is so badly needed, and the timing is perfect because we are doing a large distribution tomorrow,’’ said Pickell. “Thank you to the United Way, Delta Air Lines and everyone involved.’’

Malcom Holder of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, said, “On behalf of WESTCOP, I’d like to extend a thank you for your caring and the children thank you as well.’’

Faith Ann Butcher, Chief Impact Officer for UWWP, said United Way is asking agencies in need of blankets and pillows to contact UWWP. United Way is also looking for volunteers to help load donations as well as greet and check-in agencies who are picking up donations. Agencies and volunteers can contact UWWP at www.uwwp.org or call 914-997-6700 for more information.