Donations of blankets and jackets stacked up for those in need.

By Hayley Fedor

For many in the community, having a jacket to wrap up in or a blanket to cuddle up with on a cold day is a luxury that is not always available. When the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce’s Educational Partnership Committee made mention of this shortcoming in the community, the chamber decided to launch a blanket and jacket drive without hesitation.

According to Melanie Davis, executive director of the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, a few local schools “had some families that they knew of that were worried about the cold nights that were coming up.”

As a result, for two weeks during the month of January, the chamber collected new and gently used blankets and jackets to be given away to those children and families in need. Generous donations were made by the members of the SouthShore Chamber, which led to the tremendous success of the event.

The event became known as the Share the Warmth Blanket and Jacket Drive, which seemingly encapsulated the organization’s overall goal to provide local families with necessities to keep them safe and warm on cold winter nights.

“We have done this in the past and we know how much the families need our help,” said Davis.

During the chamber’s blanket and jacket drive, around 400 items were compiled and sent over to representatives from Lennard and Sumner High School. Through the schools, every blanket and jacket donated was distributed and taken home by families in the area.

On account of the long-standing relationship between the SouthShore Chamber and the migrant advocates at Lennard and Sumner High School, the items from this particular drive went specifically to the families in connection with the migrant advocates.

“Everyone can use a good night sleep and if we are able to help children to be a little more comfortable so they can get more out of their school days, we are happy to do so,” said Davis.

The success of the SouthShore Chamber’s blanket and jacket drive exemplifies the positivity that can come from individuals in a community supporting one another. The people of SouthShore brave the cold together.

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