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Good Deed: Blanket Drive for Project H.O.M.E.

January 30th, 2009

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, our family organized a blanket drive to help Project H.O.M.E. open an emergency winter shelter for homeless women. The people at Project H.O.M.E. told us that they needed everything necessary to offer someone a warm bed, a hot shower, and a good breakfast. We sent an email to our friends, asking them to forward our email to their friends, and we posted the event on usaservice.org, which lists volunteer projects by zip code so that it is easy to volunteer close to home.  This organizing part took about 10 minutes.

My boys and I put our bags of blankets and towels in the corner of our living room, along with a few bags of peanut butter and oatmeal which had been on sale at the supermarket. On Monday morning, we sat around the kitchen table and waited to see if anyone would show up.  They did. And they did. And did!

Friends, and friends of friends, strangers, neighbors, all came with bags filled with warm things: coats, down quilts (some new, some well-loved, all clean), personal things, such as soap and shampoo; delicious things, such as coffee, tea, cereal, and granola. They brought dear things too: a little girl’s princess quilt, a jar of homemade jam, a favorite sweater, a bear.

This receiving part took the better half of a happy day filled with cookies and cocoa, old friends and new. By the end of the day, the bags and boxes filled the house, and by the time Project H.O.M.E. came to pick them up (they had to get a truck!), the bags and boxes were creeping from the back door toward the front door of our house.

The lesson? Together, WE ALL built a shelter.  How did it happen? One little boy answered the door, one little boy carried a bag, one boy handed out cookies, one person posted a link, one person brought a jar of jam, one person brought a soft towel. Each piece was small, but the result of everyone’s contribution was enormous.

From the Burns Family