PONTIAC (WWJ) – The Oakland County Sheriff’s “Coats for the Cold” coat drive was a major success.

More than 5,400 coats were collected for this year’s drive.

Officials say the area human service agencies will receive the coats donated during the month of November and will distribute to their clients at no charge.

Sheriff Michael Bouchard is behind this annual charitable drive and he spoke about what inspired him to start the charitable cause.

“The concept actually came to me 30 years ago when I was coming out of a restaurant on a very cold night and a bunch of people were huddled around a steam grate trying to stay warm,” said Bouchard. “It was right after the holidays — I had gotten a coat for Christmas from someone that year — and that pushed a really good coat into the back of the closet. I thought, a lot of people probably have similar situations — where they have a gently used coat … and we could get all those back into service with people that have no coats, that are freezing.”

Bouchard says the partnership between local businesses including 98.7 AMP Radio helped make the coat drive the most successful drive to date.

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