By Emily Willis
‘Share the Warmth’ this winter by cleaning out your closet and donating winter clothes to the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge! Donations will go to the Hospitality House and will be accepted through Oct. 10 at various locations in the High Country.
Items that can be donated are men’s, women’s, and children’s coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, and scarves. Items that are most needed are men’s and women’s winter apparel, and men’s large and XL sizes in coats.
The locations that you can drop off donations are:
- Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge office, 895 State Farm Road, Suite 504
- Footsloggers (Boone or Blowing Rock)
- Tricia Wilson Law Office, 3616 Mitchell Ave, Linville
- Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, Blowing Rock
Want to help more with the coat drive? The Women’s Fund also needs volunteers on Oct. 12 and 13 to sort through donation items before sending them to the Hospitality House. Contact the office at 828-264-4002 or email at [email protected]
The Women’s Fund’s mission for serving the High Country is to create positive change and economic justice for women and girls. They have now cumulatively given out over $1.1 million since the funds began. The funds support local non-profit programs that affect positive change to women’s conditions, use innovative techniques to help women and girls reach their full potential and affect social change in the pursuit of fairness and justice.
The Women’s Fund’s coat drive has been going on for three years, but there have been other coat drives held annually by other organizations that have merged to become Women’s Funds of the Blue Ridge. This continued effort to properly clothe those in need has been important to the community from the start!
The coat drive is held so early in the season due to the unpredictable weather patterns that are a norm for the High Country. “Winter’s here are formidable, so people need to be properly outfitted for the weather ahead of time,” says, Karen Sabo, the executive director of the Women’s Fund.
Sabo says, “We donate the coats to the Hospitality House, because it is such a great organization and covers so many counties. Along with their various services, people of the High Country are already aware of their existence, so they know where to go to find necessary help.”
Along with recognizing the need to aid women and girls, the issue of homelessness in the High Country gained recognition in the late 1970s. Six local churches came together and identified the need for an actual shelter for the homeless. This gave way for the creation of Hospitality House, which opened it’s doors in 1984.
Hospitality House continues to serve as the only 24-hour homeless shelter facility, outside of domestic violence facilities, for seven counties (Watuaga, Avery, Wilkes, Ashe, Alleghany, Mitchell and Yancey). The goal of the Hospitality House is not merely to house the homeless, but to help those in need to become self-sufficient once again.
To learn more about the Hospitality House’s services, check out their website.