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NY: Lee Zeldin Teams Up With Arctix to Distribute $5 Million in Winter Clothing to the Homeless

Published: December 19, 2023
New York Republican gubernatorial hopeful, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) campaigns alongside Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) at a Get Out The Vote Rally on October 29, 2022 in Hauppauge, New York. (Image: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Lee Zeldin, former Republican candidate for New York State Governor, recently announced the Dakota Project, which is a collaboration with clothing manufacturer Arctix to distribute $5 million worth of outerwear to the homeless.

Zeldin, when announcing the initiative on Sunday, said the partnership will provide upwards of 108,000 garments and is enough “to clothe every homeless veteran in America.”

The initiative is being facilitated through Zeldin’s not-for-profit, Zeldin Cares, which according to its website “seeks to empower and uplift underserved communities by implementing wide-ranging initiatives that improve the quality of life for New Yorkers.”

While announcing the partnership Zeldin said, “Too many Americans are spending nights on the streets and in shelters as we head into this winter season,” adding that, “This historic distribution of millions of dollars worth of new apparel is an essential way for Zeldin Cares and Arctix to uplift underserved communities.”

According to Zeldin, a number of organizations have already been identified who will help distribute hats, gloves and jackets to both adults and children.  

Among the garments is a specially designed jacket with a hood that can be inflated into a pillow, Zeldin said.

“In addition to this donation, we are developing a first-of-its-kind, purpose built jacket made for people who sleep on the streets. Once finalized and produced, this jacket will be distributed in 2024,” Zeldin wrote on his organization’s website. 

The resources will also be made available for people experiencing an emergency, like a home fire.

Arctix Chairman, Matt Bruderman said that his teenage daughter inspired the project, and told the NY Post that he is thrilled to be working to address needs in his community. Arctix is a Long Island based company.

“Between my daughter, Dakota’s inspiration and ideas and Lee’s incredible drive and ability to execute, this effort will serve as a model for other brands and the whole nation. Amazing what is getting done with the vision of those two and the work of two great organizations,” Bruderman said according to the NY Post. 


Zeldin Cares

Zeldin Cares seeks to address a number of issues impacting New Yorkers including homelessness, public safety, upward economic mobility, and the environment. 

According to the organizations website the not-for-profit “is uniquely situated to meet these issues head on, by way of its leadership, institutional knowledge, public sector experience, strategic vision and capabilities, and partnerships with those who want to make an immediate impact.”

The organization was launched in May of this year and at the time Zledin told the NY Post, “I am steadfast in my commitment to deliver the leadership we need to move New York forward in the communities which could use help the most. Whether it be helping young entrepreneurs in an inner-city community, cleaning up a public space, or providing volunteers to a partner organization, I am going to continue to do my part to create a better future for New York.”

Zeldin, who narrowly lost to Democrat Kathy Hochul in last year’s governor’s race, told the NY Post that he admired former Democratic President Jimmy Carter’s work with Habitat for Humanity.

Zeldin Cares is also working with Arcs in the Capital Region, a group currently helping to support nearly 1,000 New Yorkers with developmental or intellectual disabilities. 

In addition, the organization’s volunteers are delivering meals to the elderly in collaboration with Meals on Wheels, and working with Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and some community groups to address needs in the Village of Hempstead.