The first annual Willingboro Emergency Services Coat Drive recently received a large donation of coats from a local religious organization. The coat drive is a collaboration of efforts from the Police Department and Fire & EMS Department's Community Relations Divisions.
Firefighter Michael Centrone is assigned as the Willingboro Fire Department Community Relations Coordinator, and Patrol Officer Sally Landrum as well for the Willingboro Police Department. Firefighter Centrone and Officer Landrum had met multiple times to develop community related activities that both departments could be an active part of and most importantly to benefit the residents of Willingboro Township. In a combined effort between the Willingboro Fire & EMS and the Willingboro Police Departments, Firefighter Centrone and Patrol Officer Landrum worked together in developing a coat drive to provide new or gently used coats to residents of Willingboro Township.
Firefighter Centrone and Officer Landrum were contacted by Mr. Mukhtr from the Al-Nasr Mosque located on Bridge Street in Willingboro about participating as an outside organization to the on-going coat drive. Mr. Mukhtr had expressed his interest in incorporating a large donation of collected jackets from the mosque as part of their 100th anniversary and also as part of their community activities the mosque provides. On February 15, 2020 a presentation was made by the Al-Nasr Mosque to the Firefighter Centrone, Officer Landrum, Deputy Chief Jamie Clark, and Mayor Tiffany Worthy for the coat drive. The Al-Nasr Mosque had collected an astounding amount of coats. What they had originally thought would be a donation of 60 coats had turned out to be over 130 coats that contributed to the coat drive.
Deputy Chief Clark, Mayor Worthy, Officer Landrum, and Firefighter Centrone took time to speak with the President, Vice President, and other leaders of the Mosque to discuss ways that the Police and Fire & EMS Departments could provide service to them should an emergency arise inside the mosque. Deputy Chief Clark expressed that as emergency responders we want to ensure we provide the highest level of care for everyone while respecting cultural and religious beliefs. The mosque leaders took everyone on a tour of the buildings that are located on their property.
During the tour, Deputy Chief Clark took the time to speak with everyone about pre-planning their facility so that police, fire, and EMS personnel have up to date information pertaining to fire hydrants, emergency contact information, sprinkler connection locations, and other various things that assist us in the event of any emergency. The leaders also showed everyone the food pantry that is provided by the mosque that helps feed approximately 25 families. Deputy Chief Clark and Mayor Worthy discussed how collaboratively as a group, the mosque, Willingboro Township, and Willingboro Fire & EMS could assist with the food pantry and other community related activities. These collaborative efforts will be discussed in the near future by Firefighter Centrone, Officer Landrum, and the mosque.
We’d like to thank everyone from the Al-Nasr Mosque for their amazing donation of over 130 coats to the Willingboro Emergency Services Coat Drive. Your generous contribution made for an hugely successful event.