Emergency department nurse honours dad's legacy by collecting coats for those in need

Trevor Quinlan and his dad during their first coat drive in 1998
Trevor Quinlan and his dad during their first coat drive in 1998

Trevor Quinlan clearly remembers being eight years old and playing outside with a friend on a late November day in his hometown of Sydney. It was a cold day, and his friend, only wearing a spring jacket, was finding it too cold to play outside. Trevor ran inside and asked his dad if he could give his old winter coat to his friend. His dad agreed, but that wasn’t the end of the story. That year, Trevor and his dad began a campaign to collect warm winter coats for other kids in need.

They started by inviting attendees of the 1998 Sydney Santa Claus parade to bring donations of gently used coats for kids. Their efforts resulted in donations of 50 coats that first year. Trevor and his dad continued their efforts every year, growing awareness and participation. When Trevor was 15, his dad died. Since then, Trevor has continued to collect coats in his honour. From 1998 until present day, they have received and distributed 1,500 winter coats for those in need.

Today, Trevor is a registered nurse at QEII Health Sciences Centre emergency department, and he wants to expand his reach beyond Sydney. This year, Trevor is inviting donations of coats – for children and adults - from within the QEII Health Sciences Centre, and possibly beyond. Donated coats will be distributed through food banks, churches and emergency departments.

If you are interested in donating a gently used coat, please drop off to either the Scotia Room (VG) or Summer Savoury (HI) restaurants – look for “Coat Drive” signs to indicate the precise drop-off spot. If you are willing and able to co-ordinate a drop-off location at your site, please contact Trevor at trevorj.quinlan@nshealth.ca or email NSHAnews@nshealth.ca