Farmingdale, NJ – United Way of Monmouth County is pleased to announce the start of its “Warmest Wishes” drive for children in need in Monmouth County. The organization is collecting coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots, socks and underwear that are new with tags to distribute to children attending local schools. Sponsored by J.F. Kiely Construction Co. and New Jersey Resources, the Warmest Wishes drive is designed to work in conjunction with the education component of United Way’s Community Impact Agenda, which aims to close the gap in academic achievement and help young people reach their potential.

United Way will be hosting an event to collect donations at the Freehold Raceway Mall on Saturday, December 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On-air talent from radio stations Thunder106, Fun 107.1, and B98.5 will be present at the event from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. with promotions and giveaways. Donations will also be accepted at the United Way office in Farmingdale until December 4. In addition, those interested in donating can conveniently purchase items online to be shipped directly to United Way to distribute by visiting through November 30.

“The need for warm winter clothing is greater than ever – in fact, the requests for items have doubled since last year among our six partner school districts in Monmouth County,” says Timothy Hearne, President and CEO of United Way of Monmouth County. “With the community’s help, we can provide children with the proper clothing to be able to go to school and focus on their education. This year, it’s even easier to help those in need through our new online donation capability.”

“When students don’t have warm clothes to wear in the winter weather, they arrive at school cold and emotionally unprepared for schoolwork,” says Ronnie Dougherty, principal at Freehold Intermediate School. “With the help of United Way of Monmouth County, this drive has provided coats to keep our students warm throughout the winter months. It’s so satisfying to see the look of joy on the face of a child who receives a new coat, and we are grateful to all those who participate.”

To participate in the Warmest Wishes drive for children’s winter clothing or for more information, please contact Kaarina Romero at 732-938-5988, ext. 2042. To learn more about United Way of Monmouth County’s Community Impact initiatives on education, income and health, visit