NEWARK, Del. -– Community service has always been a cornerstone of the University of Delaware Athletics & Recreation Services Department, and this fall and winter, the department took on a unique and rewarding service project.

Delaware recently participated in the 5th Annual Warm Coats and Warm Hearts Coat Drive, presented by Burlington Coat Factory, One Warm Coat, and ABC’s Good Morning America as part of its first-ever college edition to the coat drive.

During this morning's Nov. 30 episode of Good Morning America, the University of Delaware was honored as the winners of the college edition of the coat drive. The Blue Hen community was able to collect nearly 500 coats during the 10-day event, receiving more donations than any of the other eight institutions.

Led by Burlington Coat Factory summer college interns, nine campuses featured coat collection events and bins for donations from Nov. 2 through Nov. 12. Participating campuses included the University of Pennsylvania; New Jersey Institute of Technology; Penn State University; Delaware State University; Temple University; Rutgers University; Fashion Institute of Technology, Philadelphia University, and the University of Delaware.

Former Delaware football standout Siddiq Haynes (at right), who spearheaded UD’s efforts, was proud of his alma mater and the outpouring of support from the Delaware community.

“I would like to thank Burlington Coat Factory, One Warm Coat, and ABC’s Good Morning America for working with us to make this coat drive such a success,” said Haynes. “This was never about winning a contest, it was about changing lives. If winning helps draw attention to the effort, then we will strive to win every year. All of the coats that were donated will go a long way in allowing so many to stay warm as the winter approaches. We urge not only our Blue Hen fans and families, but everyone, to continue to give with opens hearts because there are so many out there in need. On behalf of UD Athletics, I would like to send a huge thank you to all of the Blue Hen fans, friends and families that made this possible.”

Since the program’s inception, this joint effort has resulted in the distribution of 792,090 warm coats in working with more than 250 One Warm Coat-affiliated local organizations around the country that keep the coats within the store’s community in which they were donated.

This year, the coat drive plans to celebrate a major campaign milestone - the collection of its one-millionth coat. Additionally, college students across the country can give back and participate through the Campus Kit found online at

Delaware fans who donated a gently worn coat on campus received two free ticket vouchers to a future UD men’s or women’s regular season basketball game. In addition, Burlington Coat Factory gave thanks by providing vouchers for 10 percent off on an entire purchase.

Those who were unable to donate on campus may stop by the nearest Burlington Coat Factory to drop off their donations. To find a store location near you, visit