Six years ago, local realtor Joel Cardwell started with the idea of foregoing presents for his birthday in favor of collecting coats, blankets and winter clothing to donate to our less fortunate brothers and sisters here in the Lowcountry to help keep them warm during the cold winter months.

Each year, well over 100 people have attended the “Share the Warmth” Coat Drive. They’ve donated thousands of items over the years to organizations like East Cooper Community Outreach, the Salvation Army, the Charleston County School District, and The Navigation Center in downtown Charleston.

This year, the open invitation party will be held at the Windjammer on Oct. 24 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Anyone in the community who wants to donate is welcome to drop by and bring their donations and Cardwell will make sure all items get delivered to those organizations for distribution.

Music this year will be provided by two of the best loved and most popular performers in the Charleston area, Rob Corbett of Just Groove and The Green Thieves. There are already over 125 people who said they are interested or going on the Facebook event page.

“We would love to see more attendees and donations this year than ever before," Cardwell said. "This is such a fun, feel good event. People show up with arm loads and bags full of coats and clothing to donate. It’s heartwarming to see so many people willing to give. Live music, good times, laughs, and dancing the night away, all for free, and all for a wonderful cause.”

Please mark your calendar for Thursday, Oct. 24 from 6 p.m.-midnight and plan to attend. Bring your gently used coats, blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, socks or any other clothing items you feel would benefit are less fortunate brothers and sisters here in Lowcountry.