“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” was the theme, and the weather of late agrees.
Members of the Longboat Island Chapel met for happy hour last week. The charitable outreach committee turned Shook Fellowship Hall into a winter wonderland before inviting guests to don and donate their warmest sweaters and coats.
The winter clothing drive benefited Turning Points, a nonprofit organization that serves the homeless in Manatee County.
“If you are homeless or at risk to be homeless, and you’re out there on the streets, there’s not much between you and the pavement,” Director of Volunteers Cheryl Hedger said. “It’s darn cold, and we have no idea how hard that must be on them.”
From Oct. 4 to Nov. 23, TP collected 1,500 coats for the One Warm Coat drive. They’re all gone now. Hedger says the clients they see need more than one coat per season because they don’t have a home or car to keep one in.
This was the second donation of clothing the chapel made to TP this winter. They also donate unsold items from their consignment shop The Lord’s Warehouse throughout the year.
TP works with other organizations that provide direct services to the homeless like Our Daily Bread and Stillpoint House of Prayer to distribute the coats. They also handed out 600 at the One Warm Coat giveaway event last month.
“That’s a lot of people and a lot of coats that were distributed, and we’re out,” Hedger said. “This was perfect timing because we’re going to need them. We’re going to have another six weeks where we’ll probably see cold weather.“