William Blair Warms Up UK with Annual Coat Drive

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

William Blair employees helping collect coats

William Blair employees Daniel Lou and Maria Malek in London's Liverpool station during Wrap Up coat drive.

William Blair employees kicked off the 2019 holiday season this month by collecting thousands of coats to help those in need across London.  

London staffers led the firm's efforts partnering with charity Hands On London for its 9th annual Wrap Up coat drive held November 11-13. Volunteers collected more than 21,000 coats over three days at six tube stations in London: Liverpool Street, Kings Cross, Victoria, London Bridge, Waterloo and Canary Wharf.

The coats go to people across London struggling to keep warm during the winter—the homeless, refugees, the elderly, those fleeing domestic violence and others at risk.

"Each year we go into it thinking it will be impossible to beat the previous year's results and each year we are hit with more and more generosity," said Maria Malek, with William Blair's Investment Banking team in London who has collected coats for the past five Wrap Up London campaigns.

In 2019, the Wrap Up coat drive extended to other regions of England, Scotland and Wales. The final coat count is expected to top last year when more than 35,000 were collected and distributed to 200 charities.

Paige LaCour, with William Blair's Chicago office who volunteered in the Liverpool station, said her team collected hundreds of coats an hour.

"Some Londoners literally took their coats off their backs for the cause," LaCour said. "Others had been saving coats the entire year for the campaign, bringing in suitcases full of them."

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