The Winter Blanket Drive Begins!!!
This Texas winter (yes, even Texas gets cold), Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless is gearing up to give out blankets for those that will bear out this winter directly in the elements.
This project had been discussed before and some prep work laid out, but kicked into high gear last Sunday, November 12th, at our giveaway where one disabled patron of ours in a wheelchair inquired about keeping warm. After we went through the line on her behalf, packing a bag of items "with socks" as she stressed, she asked us for a coat or blanket that she could use. In her words, "we gonna freeze to death out here in this cold."
For this goal, we are seeking to distribute at least 175 blankets at our giveaways in December and January, along with the long socks and knitted hats we already have. To do this, we have been searching for the best deals from reliable sources. One of the best so far are Mainstays Fleece Throws (50x60 inch) for $2.50 at Wal-Mart (link is just one example). Unfortunately, these can only be picked up at the store, not shipped. In addition, IKEA has VITMOSSA Fleece Throws at $1.99 (thanks to Emily for the tip). So, if you are local, please consider picking up some of these to bring to the next giveaway.
If you can't make the next giveaway on December 3rd, or want to support this effort, you can send in a donation through our PayPal link here or the Donation button above. Donations received will go directly towards purchasing blankets in the most cost-effective way possible to maximize the amount we can give out.
If you find another place to order blankets from or have some you wish to donate, you can either:
As of the date of this post, we are already 25 blankets into this project (major thanks to 2 awesome folks), and we're hopeful we can make a difference, no matter how small, in the lives of our friends and neighbors.
Thanks to everyone for your support,
Update 11/14/17: To add IKEA blanket info provided by Emily
11/15/2017 07:52:15 am
This is a wonderful idea, but as someone who is formerly homeless in Austin, may I throw out a suggestion? Those fleece blankets are great because they are cheap, but they aren't that great, logistically, for someone who lives on the street. They often aren't large enough, warm enough, and they end up taking up more space in your gear than they provide you with warmth. I would say things like long johns, socks, *coats* (which you can pick up pretty inexpensively at any thrift shop in a variety of sizes) and bedrolls. Bedrolls are not 2.50 for sure, but you can find them also at thrift stores and army supply shops for less and they are a better option for anyone who is actually having to sleep outside during the cold months. Thank y'all for doing this!!
11/15/2017 08:18:04 am
Yeah, both socks (the long-style) and hats will be in play, for sure, as well. Trying to give a little assistance to, on average, 175 folks presents quite a few challenges for us. This issue was a question asked to folks this past Sunday as they went through our giveaway line.
1/28/2018 09:27:28 pm
I have a friend and we are making blankets for donation. We were wondering how big would they need to be when donationg them
1/30/2018 04:02:49 pm
Hi, Missy. That's awesome that ya'll are making blankets. I'm not sure what kind of material you are using, but I'd say probably no less than a 4ftx5ft rectangle (with optimal being 5ftx6ft).
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Note: Giveaway recaps included on this blog will extend back to late 2016. For earlier giveaways, please visit our Facebook page, where you can scroll down to your heart's content.