(Canton, OH) December 4, 2018 – The needs of those living in poverty and homeless are constant throughout the year. But, during the fall and harsh winter months, items like warm blankets and dry socks are critical to preventing frostbite and hypothermia, as well as a number of other health concerns. Blankets and socks are the most requested item by area homeless shelters. This past month, with the help of many community partners, United Way of Greater Stark County set up collection sites at multiple locations to collect blankets and socks for people in need in the upcoming winter months.
More than 150 blankets will be delivered to Homeless Continuum of Care of Stark County and Hope Outreach Ministries. Multiple sites collected blankets or socks, including: Central and Western Stark County YMCAs; Citizens Bank; Courtyard Marriott of Canton; Diversified Gas and Oil Company – Canton; The Karcher Group; Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., LPA; PolyOne Corporation and Stark County Department of Job & Family Services.
“We are overwhelmed by the sock donations. We estimate that we have collected enough socks to cover this entire population two-fold,” says Carrie Clemens, United Way of Greater Stark County Director of Resource Development.
Volunteers will be coordinating distribution of the sock donations later this month, also through the Homeless Continuum of Care. It is estimated that in 2017, there were 1,510 persons homeless, at-risk of homelessness or in shelters, transitional or permanent housing.
“While the number of homeless in our community is down from five years ago, there are still several hundred homeless individuals and families that are at-risk. Stark County is amazingly generous at opening our arms to support those in need, in this instance by literally wrapping these individuals in warmth,” says Maria Heege, United Way of Greater Stark County President & CEO. “We could not carry out such successful drives without the tremendous, local community support. So many more needs are met when we all come together and serve the neighbors who need it the most.”
United Way of Greater Stark County is in the final week of the annual fundraising campaign. Annual fundraising efforts are critical to providing services in the area of health, education and financial stability through the county.
“Our work,” says Heege, “traverses the need year-round by not only providing emergency shelter, but affordable housing and services to move families to financial stability.”
United Way’s annual fundraising campaign runs through December 6 and your support is needed. To contribute, text UWSTARK to 41444 or visit www.uwstark.org/get-involved/give.
About United Way of Greater Stark County
United Way of Greater Stark County fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. We win by living United. By forging unlikely partnerships. By finding new solutions to old problems. By mobilizing the best resources. And by inspiring individuals to join the fight against their community’s most daunting social crisis. Our mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities in Greater Stark County. In order to live better, we must live United. For more information about United Way of Greater Stark County visit www.uwstark.org. Offices are at 401 Market Avenue North, Suite 300, Canton, Ohio 44702. (330) 491-0445.