Code Blue Winter Drive

"Code blue” is a term used by MTM 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.

During this time, Mel Trotter Ministries staff take extra precautions to ensure our homeless neighbors are safe, warm and know the love of Jesus Christ...but we need your help to make sure we can provide supplies for everyone who needs help this winter.

Winter Warm Up List

Urgent Needs: 

  • New or like-new men's winter coats (all sizes)
  • New or like-new men's winter boots (all sizes)
  • New or like-new men's winter hats (all sizes)

New or like-new items for men, women & children. All ages and sizes.

  • Hand warmers (new only)
  • Winter coats
  • Waterproof winter boots
  • Hats (Please no handmade hats)
  • Mittens/gloves
  • Wool or fleece socks
  • Long underwear

Drop-off locations

You may collect any of the items requested above and drop them off at any of the Code Blue drop-off sites listed below. Look for the blue barrels that say “Code Blue Drive”.

  • Spartan Stores YMCA (5722 Metro Way, Wyoming, MI 49519)
  • Lowell YMCA (1335 W Main St, Lowell, MI 49331)
  • Visser Family YMCA (3540 Fairlanes Ave SW, Grandville, MI 49418)
  • The B.O.B (20 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
  • Bluewater Grill (5180 Northland Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)
  • Rose's Restaurant (550 Lakeside Dr SE, East Grand Rapids, MI 49506)
  • Bostwick Lake Inn (8521 Belding Road NE, Rockford, MI 49341)
  • Mel Trotter Ministries downtown (225 Commerce Avenue SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)
  • Mel Trotter Ministries Thrift Stores (7500 Cottonwood Drive, Jenison, MI 49428)       
  • Mel Trotter Ministries Thrift Stores (538 S. State Street, Sparta, MI 49345)
  • David D. Hunting YMCA (475 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504)
  • Mary Free Bed YMCA (5500 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546)
  • Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA (6555 Jupiter Ave NE, Belmont, MI 49306)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Code Blue Drive?

    Code Blue means that people experiencing homelessness are in danger of hypothermia, frost bite and other cold weather related injuries if they do not seek shelter.  During this time, MTM staff take extra precautions to ensure our homeless neighbors are safe and warm.

  • How does my company/church become a Code Blue Drive drop-off site?

    Contact: Becky Emmert, 616-454-8249 ext. 288 or

    Pick up a blue barrel at Mel Trotter Ministries downtown location to collect donated items.

    Your location will be added to the website as a public drop off location.

  • I would like to donate used clothes or items.

    While we are grateful that you are thinking of helping people who are experiencing homelessness, please carefully consider what you donate before you give.  It is our priority to help our guests feel dignified and valued. 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.


Code Blue Posters

Click the image to download a flyer.

Have questions that weren't answered here?  Call Becky Emmert at 616-454-8249 ext. 288 or .