Recently, The Homeless Alliance received 500 blankets from With A Purpose at their Day Shelter in Oklahoma City. The organization annually hosts a holiday party for its clients. With A Purpose has been able to participate in the party the past few years, benefiting those in need by providing blankets for gift bags distributed during the event. Thanks to purchases from Blanket for a Blanket lines, 350 donation blankets were delivered in 2014 and 500 blankets last winter. Through the BUY a Blanket, GIVE a Blanket model, each collegiate blanket purchased enables a donation blanket to be given locally to a person in need.
Kinsey Crocker, Director of Communications shared about the success of their holiday party, which was held the week before Christmas:
"The blankets were a huge blessing. We held our Day Shelter Christmas party the Friday before the coldest weekend we have had in years, " reported Crocker. "Temperatures dropped to negative numbers, and the Oklahoma winds were brutal. The blankets came just in time to provide a little extra warmth for our guests."
The gift bag and blanket distribution followed a Christmas breakfast with live music. Beyond the food and entertainment, Crocker emphasized that the blankets were of vital value. "More than half of our guests at the Day Shelter are unsheltered, meaning they don’t go to overnight shelters but instead stay on the streets, in tents, and other places that aren’t meant for human habitation. Having these blankets is literally a life saver."
To date, With a Purpose has donated 32,650+ blankets overall.
Recently, With A Purpose donated 232 blankets to those in need in Provo, Utah. Thanks to the Food & Care Coalition and purchases from the BYU Cougars Blanket for a Blanket line (recently sold out but you can add your name to be notified when we have a new design!) individuals affected by homelessness will be provided with warmth for the winter.
This nonprofit started out by simply providing meals, but has since added other services alongside their regular community programming (e.g. hygiene products, computer labs, clothing and shower facilities). Food & Care Coalition also partners with other local groups which allows them to offer mental health and dental services to their clients as well.
Overall, With A Purpose has donated 32,650+ blankets to persons in need.
The "1Day" event was comprised of multiple activities for volunteers to participate in. Some handed out lunches in brown paper bags and talked with the people they met along the way. Others partnered with the Tamba Bay Police Department in traveling to different areas of the city and building relationships.
"The part of the event I was at offered haircuts to the homeless, breakfast, Medical and Dental services and backpacks with hygiene products and of course the beautiful blankets," said Beth Ross of Blanket Tamba Bay.
Blanket Tampa Bay is a non profit that focuses on serving the homeless in their community by gathering and distributing daily and seasonal items such as hygiene products, clothing, rain gear and blankets.
Overall, 31, 900 blankets have been donated by With A Purpose nationwide. Stay tuned for more Blanket Drop Stories!
Though the summer months proved to be warm nationwide, With A Purpose, from May-August about 1500 blankets were sent to nonprofits local to the collegiate lines With A Purpose carries, such as St. Vincent de Paul located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This organization recently received 280 blankets and has multiple programs that serve those suffering in the community through feeding, sheltering and supplying aide to those in need. Gotcha Covered, a With A Purpose partner,also contributed over 2300 items such as pillowcases, sheets, shams and other miscellaneous linens.
Local residents came alongside each other during the dire circumstances due to the record flooding. Claire Cashio, lives in Baton Rouge and helped to distribute many of the items to friends and family members in need and others throughout the hard hit areas. She even set aside her own finances to buy pillows that would serve as a comfort for those forced to go without.
(Pictured below.) Claire shared a photo of a trailer she witnessed, "This was a lucky one, they had a tent."
"Simply utter devastation," said Cashio describing the scene (pictured bove) as she gave away the donated items "People are trying to live in those trailers...I had a grown man tear up when I handed him enough blankets for his whole family." She, in turn, was moved by the gratitude she experienced from many of the displaced residents in the community.
Following the disastrous flooding in Baton Rouge, a young person makes a bed out of a cardboard box and a towel.
In July, With A Purpose dedicated 305 blankets for disaster relief to Union Mission in Charleston, WV after the severe severe storms and flooding in the region. Gov. Tomblin declared a State of Emergency for 44 counties and 150 members mobilized the National Guard. American Red Cross volunteers were also a part of responding to the crisis and the state also qualified for federal disaster relief assistance to help with recovery efforts.
Over 31,900 blankets have been donated to date by With A Purpose. Stay tuned for more Blanket Drop Stories!
Thanks to With A Purpose and purchases from the Iowa Hawkeyes Blanket for a Blanket program, 250 donation blankets went to Shelter House in Iowa City. Shelter House is an organization committed to helping homeless individuals improve their quality of life. Aiming to serve with excellence in every area, they exercise their influence to affect systemic change by building community partnerships to benefits their clients.
Shelter House provides emergency shelter, housing, mental health services, veteran services and employment opportunities for those in need."We unloaded the blankets at our low-barrier Winter Emergency Shelter! We are using the blankets you donated to us to help keep the most vulnerable people in our community out of the cold over the winter months, then the blankets will be moved over to Shelter House," shared Outreach & Engagement Manager Coordinator Alex Stanton.
The Salvation Army of Fayetteville distributed 300 blankets to those in need this past winter. Through With A Purpose's Arkansas Razorbacks Blanket for a Blanket program, a donation blanket is given for every collegiate blanket purchased. "We did a bag for every guest at Christmas that stayed in our shelters and this is just from our Fayetteville Shelter," informed Dawn Rodriguez, Administrative Assistant/HR Administrator of The Salvation Army Northwest Arkansas Area Command.
More Blanket Drop Stories coming soon!
With A Purpose donated 300 blankets to Iowa State Veterans Center located in Ames through the Iowa State Cyclones Blanket for a Blanket line. The Center empowers and supports veterans, military personnel and their families as they return to the academic arena. The University assists these individuals by providing community and quality services, both which are important to transition successfully.
"The blankets are greatly appreciated and have helped many people and families," shared Jathan Chicoine of Iowa State of Veterans Center. With A Purpose has donated over 30,000 blankets through its 47 lines blanket collegiate and specialty blankets lines.
Hearts for Homeless is the recipient of 30 donation blankets made possible through the Penn State Nittany Lions Blanket for a Blanket line. This initiative gives a non branded blanket to a person in need for each licensed blanket purchased. The organization's goal is to provide shelter and basic necessities to those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Hearts for Homeless desires to support those in need on their journey to stability while also growing the hearts of the community around them through education and volunteer experience.
With A Purpose is proud to partner with local nonprofits such as this one. Stay tuned for more Blanket Drop Stories coming soon!
With A Purpose donated 750 blankets to Hope Center in Lexington, Kentucky this past Christmas season. The Kentucky Wildcats Blanket for a Blanket line provides a non-branded blanket for a person in need for every blanket purchased. With A Purpose utilizes the BUY a Blanket, GIVE a Blanket model to support local nonprofits, like Hope Center, to change the lives of those in their community.
Hope Center is committed to serving the homeless population in Lexington. Housing over 800 people each night, Hope Center volunteers join together to offer daily meals and hundreds of social services. They held a Men's Party and a Women's Party for Christmas where they distributed the 750 blankets to their clients. We are reminded by looking back at Christmas in July, that some added warmth can go a long way in the lives of those in need.
Pictured above: A volunteer from Ashland, Inc., William (a Hope Center client dressed as Santa) and a Hope Center Men's Recovery client at the Men's Christmas Party.
Stay tuned for more Blanket Drop Stories coming soon this Summer!
With A Purpose delivered 300 donation blankets to Mission of Hope in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Purchases from the Oklahoma Sooners Blanket for a Blanket line and the Oklahoma State Cowboys Blanket for a Blanket line went to benefit local homeless. Mission of Hope distributed blankets to those in need in addition to the primary services they offer to help clients achieve self-sufficiency.
Mission of Hope is committed to assisting homeless individuals and families through multiple supportive housing programs. Other available services include food, laundry facilities, case management and life skills courses. "We appreciate the blankets very much," shared Program Director Jana Nelson. "It is so nice to be able use these here, but to also be able to let clients take them when they leave."
Stay tuned for weekly Blanket Drop Stories!