Code Blue Drive

October 1 - December 31

Event Details

Code Blue Drive

  • Oct
  • Dec

October 1 - December 31, 2020

We're collecting items at the downtown location and partner organizations across West Michigan.

"Code blue” is a term used by MTM to describe the most extreme winter conditions in West Michigan, when temperatures fall significantly and stay below freezing over a period of time - putting men, women and children who are exposed to the elements at severe risk of hypothermia, frost bite or even death.

Host a Blue Barrel

Collecting Winter Items

Keep your neighbors in need safe and warm this season by donating items to protect them from the harsh Michigan winters.

Winter Warm Up List

New or like new winter weather items for men, women and children. 

  • Winter coats (urgent need for 2X-5X)
  • Waterproof winter boots (Men's sizes 8-13, Women's sizes 8.5-13)
  • Waterproof winter gloves
  • Hats
  • Socks
  • Underwear (men's and women's M-2XL)
  • Long underwear (men's and women's M-4XL)
  • Hand warmers

New or like new items items may be dropped off at any of the Code Blue Drive drop off sites (look for the blue barrels) our downtown location at 225 Commerce Ave SW.

View Drop-off Locations


  • How does my organization become a code blue drive drop-off site?

    If you would like to host a blue barrel for the Code Blue Drive, please contact Beth Fisher at 616-588-8754 or by email.

    Email Beth

  • How do I get a barrel or what if it's full?

    We drop off and pick up barrels the 15th and 30th of each month during the drive, when your organization requests it in advance (a week before). If the 15th falls on a Sunday, we will pick it up on the following business day.

    If you do not request a barrel pick up, it will be picked up by January 15, 2021. 

    Contact Us

  • I would like to donate used clothes or items.

    It is our priority to help our guests feel dignified and valued. While we are grateful that you are thinking of helping people who are experiencing homelessness, please carefully consider what you donate before you give. We only accept new or like-new items that are washed and clean.

  • Can I host drives at other times of the year?

    If you’d like to host a drive other times of the year, Mel Trotter collects in-kind goods year-round. Please go to for details.

  • What happened to the fall/holiday food drive?

    In an effort to reduce the duplication of services, Mel Trotter Ministries no longer hosts a food drive because there are several other agencies in the greater Grand Rapids area that support low-income families with emergency food supplies through their food pantry. If you would like more information about area food pantries, please call 2-1-1.

  • What happens with the items I donate?

    The winter weather items you donate will be passed out at a giveaway and as we come in contact with people who don't have proper winter gear. For example, we offer winter gear to people living in encampments, under bridges, in their cars and to the homeless neighbors who use the shelter.