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A Crutchfield employee's annual coat drive

Co-workers team up for a good cause

Heads up!

Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.

Tommy is well-known in the halls of Crutchfield HQ as a guy who makes big things happen quickly. As buyer for such popular categories as headphones and wireless speakers, he works with famous brands like Sony, Bose®, Klipsch to ensure we have the gear customers want, and plenty of it.

But Tommy told me that over a decade ago, he took on a special project with uncharacteristic trepidation: "I knew I wanted to help make a difference in my community, and so I started with this really simple idea of organizing a winter coat drive at work. But I was pretty nervous because I didn't know if anyone would respond to it."

The coats came pouring in

When Tommy proposed the idea of donating unwanted winter gear to those in need, his fellow Crutchfield employees whole-heartedly supported him. The coat drive was so successful that he decided to do it again the next year, and now it has become a Crutchfield tradition at the holidays. 

Over the past 11 years, Tommy has gathered over 3,000 winter coats for donation, plus cold weather essentials like mittens, scarves, and hats. "It's just such a great reminder," he told me, "that there's still so much love and generosity in the world."

Charlottesville's International Rescue Committee

During the first few years of the coat drive, Tommy donated winter gear to a variety of local non-profits, but when a fellow Crutchfield employee told him about the local chapter of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a strong relationship was formed. Since then, all donations gathered from Tommy's coat drive benefit the IRC, which assists families who escaped violence and deprivation to live in a supportive community like Charlottesville, VA.

Tommy's takeaway

I asked Tommy if he had any advice for folks who want to help out in their community. He said, "The key is deciding to get off the sidelines. Start small and don't be afraid to ask friends for help. You'll probably be surprised how many people step up to the plate. And before you know it, you've made a difference."

Last updated 12/11/2019