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At a time when temperatures outside are freezing, having a nice blanket is something that many of us may take for granted. Across America, annual blanket drives aim to help keep people warm that are in need. Efforts to gather new or gently used blankets and other bedding are in full swing across the country, and in need of your help.
“Recycle the Warmth” is one such collection drive through St. Vincent De Paul that has a tradition spanning several decades. “Recycle the Warmth” weekend serves to restock their supply of blankets to give away throughout the year, and organizers are always in search of more people to plan and organize the drive.
Other organizations are also at work year round to distribute blankets to people in need. Additional items collected and given away include hats, coats, gloves, and scarves.
What You Can Do
Cold weather serves as a reminder that the kind of warmth and comfort that so many of us enjoy is hard to come by for others. Make a difference in the lives of those in need by giving the gift of warmth.
- Volunteer to help sort and fold donated blankets.
- Host a blanket drive in your town. CityTeam Ministries provides a helpful guide for how to organize your own blanket and coat drive for the homeless.
- Consider offering hot breakfast items at your blanket drive along with cold weather items.
- Tax-deductible monetary donations are also welcome, and shelters can often use other donated items such as socks and toiletries.
Some organizations partner up to sell special blankets for people to purchase and immediately donate. Look for a nearby business that would offer their blankets or related winter items for the cause. Also see if a community service agency you know will attend the drive to offer additional information and assistance to those in need.
Finally, be on the lookout for blanket drives and drop off locations near you from organizations like Girl and Boy Scouts, Volunteers of America and other local congregations.