Source: Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange

The Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange, Rhode Island’s largest statewide coat drive, is back in action this winter with the Spare a Pair Sock and Underwear Drive. 

After returning in November to host their in-person coat exchange event in Providence, organizers are now collecting new socks and underwear, which are some of the most requested items by people living in shelters or experiencing homelessness.

The Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange is currently accepting donations of brand new, unopened socks and underwear for adults of all sizes and genders. Those looking to donate can order socks and/or underwear and have it delivered directly to organizers; drop off donations at any of the collection sites available in Cranston, East Greenwich, or Providence; or contribute to the nonprofit’s GoFundMe fundraiser. Collection site addresses can be found at

Donors are also welcome to host their own collection site and can do so by emailing, reaching out on Facebook, or via the contact form at Collection will end on April 1, with organizers distributing donations on a rolling basis as they are collected directly to people experiencing homelessness and to local nonprofits who assist Rhode Islanders in need.

This year’s Spare a Pair Sock and Underwear Drive comes at the right time with the pandemic continuing to affect homelessness and jobless rates in Rhode Island. According to the Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness, the state’s homelessness rate is expected to rise from the more than 1,100 reported to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2020, the fourth consecutive year in which the rate increased. Likewise, the state’s unemployment rate is 7.9% as reported by the Department of Labor and Training in December.

Launched more than 20 years ago by Rhode Island activist Greg Gerritt, the Buy Nothing Day Coat Exchange is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit and an extension of Buy Nothing Day, an international day of protest against consumerism that runs concurrent with Black Friday, the United States’ busiest shopping day of the year. In recent years, local organizers have expanded beyond collecting solely for the Buy Nothing Day event to include the Spare a Pair Sock and Underwear Drive, held annually at the start of each calendar year. 

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