Omar Hussain - how his Christmas coat drive raised over 2,000 coats

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

Omar Hussain of Northshore Clinical Labs, has impacted society and the USA as a whole in more ways than one. It is undeniable that Northshore Clinical Labs has been a decisive factor in the fight against Covid-19. The countrywide reach that the lab has achieved through its phenomenal network of professionals and lab tie-ups is commendable. The labs have made it a priority to test many samples every day. They have also tried their best to reduce the time to get the reports. This has made it possible for the cases to be identified early, and quick isolation has been possible.

Omar Hussain has also led a cause for the help of the less-privileged folks of Chicago. The Coat Drive is one unique event Omar has organized for nine years. This year it was an event that was not just a drive to get donated coats. It also had music, drinks, food, and more. The coats donated would help the underprivileged survive the severely cold winter of Chicago. The event had its rules laid out as far as Covid precautions are concerned. The guests had to have a valid vaccine card, or they would have to produce a negative PCR test report with them. The test report should not be more than 48 hours old. The Guests also had the facility of getting rapid antigen and PCR test screenings with no out-of-pocket cost. The result of these tests would be delivered in minutes.

We can visit the past with Hussain to know how the whole concept began. Omar said "I was going back and forth from LA to Chicago, and there used to be these kids' orphanage just down the street near Humboldt Park, I felt so bad for them. I walked in one day and said, hey, I want to help out, I don't know much, what can I give you guys, what can I help with, and they're like, "Well, it's Christmas time, it's really cold, you know, if you can get us some children's coats, that'd be great." So I said, Ok, I can do that".

Hussain had a brainwave. He decided that a Christmas potluck party might answer the problem. He and his friend Matt Diechl worked on hosting the party. They told the guests to bring only new Christmas coats for children, and they would cover the costs of food and drinks. The first year was a modest success. Omar and Matt succeed in collecting 50 coats from the 30 attendees of the party. 

Omar was emotional and overjoyed with the children's reaction when they received the coats. The children appreciated this drive. He decided to make the event yearly. Mr. Hussain takes great pride in hosting the event. The coats collected in the event are of great importance to the kids. The only thing that Omar ensures to mention about the coats is that they should be new. They request not to donate used coats.

The plight of underprivileged children is well known across the world. Many people in the world don't have access to sufficient food, water, and other necessities of life. This is the reason why there is such a great need for donations. There could be donations in money or in kinds. The coat collection drive that Omar heads is one such donation drive. The children in Chicago belong to a city considerably well placed compared to many other cities in the world. They do have access to nutritious food, water, and many other necessities of life. The coats provide them the perfect solution to combat the chilling cold of the winters in Chicago.

Omar Hussain’s coat collection drive has received widespread appreciation. The collection has kept increasing every year as more and more people join it. People enjoy the evening as it has entertainment, food, and drinks. What is better? The feeling of doing good in society. Every coat that is donated finds a needy owner. The privileged can buy what they want. They can acquire these things whenever they please. The children are not that privileged, and they look forward to making it through the chilly winters with the help of the coats that are donated in the coat collection drive spearheaded by Mr. Hussain. 

The continuous success of the event every year now is very encouraging. This year, the collection was more than 2000 coats. The number itself is mind-boggling as it is encouraging for Omar. He continues to look forward to many more years of this coat collection drive. Each year, every coat ensures a better passage of the chilly winter for one additional child. The success of the event keeps Omar focused on his job ahead.

Hussain is greatly enthused to continue helping the country battle Covid-19 through the Northshore Clinical Labs. He will also continue this coat collection drive to help the children feel more comfortable during the winters.

This article was written in cooperation with VMG