Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wrap your Arms 'Round Me

A sampling of the beautiful blankets donated today

This evening, The Red Thread Promise donated 2 boxes full of handmade kid-size blankets, shawls, scarves and hats to The Open Shelter in Columbus, Ohio. These items will be given to parents of young children who are either homeless or in dire straits.

The Red Thread has been collecting and distributing handmade blankets as part of our WARM Ministry (Wrap your Arms 'Round Me) for years. Volunteers help provide love, warmth and comfort to a needy child by donating hand-made shawls or fleece blankets. We work with community knitting and sewing groups, schools, church organizations and senior citizens who create blankets which we send wherever we see a need. For some children, these are the only items that are truly their own which makes them extra special.

Over the years, many of the blankets have been given to people in the Appalachia areas of the Midwest. However, this year they are being used in urban areas of Columbus, Ohio.

In late summer and into fall, the City of Columbus recognized that the shelters in the area were full much earlier than in recent years. Back in October, one emergency shelter reported that they were "serving a record 82 families at a building designed for 50". Numerous articles on the situation were published in the Columbus Dispatch. This particular article really touched the hearts of The Red Thread and the decision was made to support the inner-city children of Columbus.
Historically, the need for family housing peaks during the warm-weather months.

"Usually we see a spike in the summer," said Adrienne Corbett, executive director of the Columbus-based Homeless Families Foundation. "But it isn't summer anymore."

The opposite is true for homeless singles, who typically seek shelter in large numbers when the weather turns cold.

This year is different. "During all the warm-weather months, we have had waiting lists at all of our adult shelters," Ward said. "We're gravely concerned about what the cold-weather months may bring this year."
As temperatures in Columbus dropped into the single digits this week, we knew our blankets could make a difference in the community.

THANK YOU to all of you who have knitted and crocheted these beautiful blankets. The hours spent creating these unique pieces of functional art reveal the heart of the giver. The people who receive them will surely know that someone out there cares for them in their time of need.

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