Blood Sweat and Gears is holding its Winter Warmer Project drive on Saturday, Dec. 17 from noon to 7 p.m. at Appalachian Mountain Brewery. New or gently-used-and-clean coats, hats, gloves and blankets are accepted. Canned food is also requested.
In addition to the canned food and warm clothing, BSG is also accepting monetary donations to buy warm clothing, blankets, firewood and food to help folks stay warm during the holiday and greater winter seasons.
So far, about $6,000 has already been collected and two BSG riders donated 550 sets of thermal underwear and 240 pairs of socks. 50 coats, sweaters and pullovers have been donated as well.
On top of the regular Winter Warmer Project drive, organizers have thrown in an “interesting twist” this season after seeing an article about a Secret Santa in Pennsylvania who paid off behind individual food lunch accounts in an elementary school.
“We called the Watauga and Avery county schools offices to get an assessment. The numbers are high, about $16,000 for both, but some of that will be paid,” BSG Ride Director Scott Nelson said. “They are scrubbing the numbers to give us a better idea of the hardship case amount.”
Five BSG riders have agreed to match donations up to $3,500 (combined) for the school lunch relief effort. Whatever monies collected will be distributed to the two school systems before the holiday break to help pay down the roughly $16,000 amount in arrears.
“We challenge the High Country community to match these funds by stopping by AMB this Saturday and making a donation,” Nelson said.
BSG, which hosts three charity bicycle rides throughout the year in the High Country, is a 501c3 non-profit and donations are tax deductible.