Local organizations work to help the homeless through winter

A Fairmont City Street

There are a number of organizations and community members putting together clothing and blanket drives for homeless populations, but for one Fairmont woman, it’s personal.

“I know there was times when I was homeless and I would have to find ways warm myself up and keep that blanket with me. Not only did it keep me warm but it gave me a sense of comfort,” said Candice Inch, Fairmont blanket drive organizer.

Inch is organizing a blanket drive in Fairmont for the local homeless population.

She said being warm doesn’t just effect physical well-being, it can benefit mental health as well.

“People forget that being warm helps the mentality. Warmth can bring a lot of positive feelings that you take for granted when you feel warmth everyday,” said Inch.

Homeless shelters, food banks and soup kitchens are great places to start if you’re looking for places to donate warm clothes and blankets for homeless people this winter.

“We have a few that are homeless here in Marion County. That’s the reason we like to collect warm things in the winter. A lot of people are sleeping out, we don’t know how many there are sleeping out,” said Shelia Tennant, Soup Opera director.

The Soup Opera is collecting both warm clothing and toys to hand out this holiday season.

“And if you see someone that needs a helping hand maybe even a hot soup or sandwich like that too,” said Tennant.

Inch said in rural areas, problems with homelessness can go unnoticed.

“In small towns like this it gets so overlooked and pushed to the side,” she said. “It’s nobodies fault per se but I’ve started seeing it build up here and I think for any community to thrive we need to worry about helping everyone we can educate people and help progressing where we need to be in the future.”

Drop off warm clothing or new toy donations at the Soup Opera. Blanket Drive donations can be dropped off at JAloe Insurance Solutions, Lion in the Sun, The Op Shop Work Day Cafe or Rambling Root, click here for more information.

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