Friday, May 14, 2021

Local coat drive sets out to help people in need

The dreadful winds of Plattsburgh were no match for the hearts of Nick Dubay and his team of volunteers.

For over 12 years, Dubay has been collecting winter clothing donations from the community and distributing them to those who need it. 

Dubay works at the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Champlain Valley as its recovery program administrator. 

Dubay oversees a team of individuals who are trained as peer-support specialists. 

They assist people who struggle with mental health and help them find connections within the community.

In 2017, he and NAMI organized an event where they decorated the trees of Trinity Park with donated clothing and allowed anyone to take what they need for the cold weather.

Unfortunately, Dubay said that the City of Plattsburgh strongly encouraged Dubay and his team to halt the event because it was considered littering.

“We have helped a lot of people by doing these [clothing drives],” Dubay said. “Instead of fighting against the City of Plattsburgh, we decided to do something different.”

This year, Dubay located a space where he and his NAMI team could hold all the donated clothing. 

Twinstate Technologies, Telecommunications service provider in Clinton County,  provided Dubay with a little basement area on 39 Bridge St. in Plattsburgh where he hosted the clothing drive. 

The area had once been a bar before Dubay turned it into a warehouse for clothing. 

He sent out a message on his Facebook page asking everyone to donate one or two items to his drive.

“We received a sizable donation of hats, coats, scarves,” Dubay said. “Some brought in brand-new beautiful clothing from DressCode, a clothing store in the downtown area of Plattsburgh.”

Dubay’s clothing drive has been open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. since Jan. 31. 

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