Tens of thousands of the neediest New Yorkers have free winter hats and gloves this holiday season, courtesy of a philanthropist who spent more than forty years working in the glove business.
As part of our Giving Back series, reporter Rick Karr introduces us to 86 year-old Larry Stanton, who says he didn’t need a college diploma when he started in the business just after World War II because making gloves was in his genes.
“I was born with a glove in my mouth,” Stanton said. “My grandfather started the business and in the late ’40s I entered the business. At that time the conditions in Europe were so bad that the industry in the United States continued to thrive.”
After retiring, Stanton was approached by friends every Christmas, asking if he would contribute gloves to their favorite charities. “I always did,” said Stanton. “But then I began thinking, why don’t I make a real charity out of this? And I started a charity called ‘g-LOVING WARMTH’.”
g-LOVING WARMTH distributes gloves through the organization K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers. Stanton has given more than a million gloves to people in need. This winter he’s giving away 40,000 hats and about 120,000 pairs of gloves. There’s a tag attached to every one of them with Stanton’s home mailing address and private email address printed on it. Stanton says he’s received “hundreds of thousands” of cards and letters from people who he’s helped.
“Thanking me and telling me how much it meant to them, and the mothers write and they write little cartoons with gloves on them and it’s very touching and very heartwarming to see what a present like this can mean to them, because we have so many impoverished,” said Stanton.
Starting in 2015, Stanton reports that he will also enclose a pamphlet with his gloves and hats. The pamphlet will contain the first chapter of his book, Going the Extra Mile.
“I achieved what I did achieve in life by going the extra mile,” Stanton told Karr. “I was not a college graduate. I went directly from high school into my family’s business. It’s so important in today’s life, going the extra mile, because, certainly a college education is important, but 50 percent of low income kids that go to college, don’t finish college, they haven’t made it and they’re not prepared to go out in life and make a living, and these are the kids I’d like to particularly address in my pamphlet and eventually in my book too.”