Warm clothing giveaway helped neighbors
MIDDLEBURY — On two November weekends (Nov 22-23 and 29-30) people have been coming to the Middlebury United Methodist Church to find clothes to keep warm this winter. Coats, sweaters, scarves, hats, boots, and more for children, women, and men were collected this past summer and fall to be ready for this event, now in its sixth year. It is good to see the smiles on people’s faces when they find things that please them. Hundreds of people are served. Sometimes recipients of clothes come back to say thank you and tell how much this means to them.
The plan to gather and give away coats and other winter clothes grew in the minds of a group of women who had been working for years at the HOPE Christmas Shop and believed that more could be done to help families and individuals if winter clothing could be given away to anyone who came. No questions are asked about residence or financial ability or any other way to qualify for help. People just walk in and are encouraged to take whatever they can use. This project even helps some international students from Middlebury College who were not prepared for Vermont winters because they come from warmer climates.
Donations come from many area churches, the Bristol Stampede, the Middlebury Congregational Church’s program for children’s winter clothes and many individuals who read about this on Front Porch Forum or in the Addison Independent. Much volunteer time is necessary to make this project work. Thanks go to all the volunteers from the Middlebury United Methodist Church and others who come to help. Thanksgiving will have more meaning for some people who are warmer now with the winter clothes they need.