Mysterious coats began popping up around a Massachusetts town, and now their donor wants to start a movement

Courtesy of Linda RoyOne of the coats left around New Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • On December 24, mysterious coats began to appear around telephone poles all over the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
  • They all featured letters stating that they weren’t lost, but actually up for grabs for anyone who doesn’t have a winter coat.
  • South Coast Today first reported the mysterious coats and INSIDER confirmed their origin: the local animal rescue Odie’s Place Animal Rescue.

Even though Christmas has passed, the spirit of giving still lives on in the city of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Starting on Christmas Eve, coats have been appearing around telephone poles and lamp posts all over town.

According to South Coast Today, all the coats have signs attached that read “I am not lost. Please take if you need me.” After a comment on a Facebook post suggested that these hometown heroes worked with Odie’s Place Animal Rescue, INSIDER was able to confirm that the rescue is, in fact, responsible for these local good deeds.

“We all need to be the change we want to see in the community,” the shelter told INSIDER, “[We] want to inspire a movement.”

Coats donationCourtesy of Odie’s Place Animal RescueOne of the donated coats.

The rescue held a coat drive during the month of December called Operation Warmth and received an overwhelming amount of coats and jackets. So Odie’s Place decided to set aside some of the nicer, more expensive outerwear they received to give back to the community. On December 26 alone, the rescue put up 15 coats across New Bedford.


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Originally, the plan was to leave the Odie’s Place logo on the notes, but the animal rescue decided to add a little mystery to encourage the town to get involved as well.

Coats donation 4Courtesy of Odie’s Place Animal RescueAn anonymous note.

“So many people with little donated to help others with less,” said Odie’s Place to INSIDER.

The act was inspired after seeing similar donation projects in Europe and across the country.

They hope more and more people will begin donating their coats and other winter wear as well. Odie’s Place told INSIDER that they have seen two coats taken, with the signs left behind.

“[We] want the community – if they see that – to pay it forward [and] wrap a coat or hat around [the pole],” so the tradition can continue.

Coats donation 2Courtesy of Odie’s Place Animal RescueA coat from Odie’s Place.

This isn’t the only way that Odie’s Place helps their hometown. This was their second coat drive this year, and they hold other events throughout the year including a Turkeypalooza in November (they collected 623 turkeys for those in need), a town clean-up in May, and a First Responders Thank You Drive in April.

“If people want to start making this a neighbourhood thing [to help] it to grow, please do. Start small, it will grow,” Odie’s Place said.

You can find out more about them and their good deeds on their website.

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