Farmington charity drive gives warm coats to women

Farmington Hills resident Tracey Anderson will have a warmer walk to work this winter, thanks to a coat she received from a Farmington-based charity with a new name.

Heartfelt Harvest is now The Heartfelt Family, which encompasses a food pantry pantry, Paws, Claws, & More for families who need help keeping their pets, and Operation Combat Boots, which holds letter writing campaigns, collection drives, and more for U.S. troops.

Heartfelt Family
Farmington Hills resident Tracey Anderson, left, picked out a warm winter coat with help from Cathy DeLeo of The Heartfelt Family.

Founder Cathy DeLeo said the idea to collect coats specifically for women came to her while she spoke with other non-profit organizers about big clothing drives.

“I thought, somebody always takes care of the kids,” she said. “Nobody takes care of the moms, and they’re usually the ones who go without.”

DeLeo collected about 150 coats and set them up on racks at the nonprofit’s new home on Orchard Street. Local charities refer recipients who come in one at a time, by appointment.

Anderson was referred by Neighborhood House. The nonprofit serves Farmington area families in need with a food pantry, cash assistances, and referrals to other agencies.

“This is delightful,” said Anderson, who picked out a cream-colored parka with a warm hood. “Walking to work takes about 15 minutes, so this will help a lot.”

DeLeo said one woman who walked in the door had been wearing the same winter coat for 20 years.

“This has been well received,” she said. “I’m sure we’ll do it again.”

To learn more about The Heartfelt Family, visit heartfeltfamily.org.

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