An extra blanket can make a big difference on a cold day and one local program is designed to help spread warmth by sharing blankets.
“There are a lot of people who can’t afford a lot of heat,” said Catherine Atkinson who, along with her daughter Mary, came up with the idea for the Spread the Warmth program. “People who got a new blanket or comforter for Christmas may want to give the old one to someone it can help. Even old or tired blankets can be received and used for animals.
“We came up with the idea for this after we heard about youth living in Victoria Park and its now been going on for 17 years.”
The first year the program was operating it was linked to an art show with which Atkinson was involved so it was very much in the public eye, but the show is no longer taking place and many people have forgotten about blanket donation.
“I’d like to re-boot it and keep people aware,” said Atkinson. “With the cold weather and the amount of hardship we have now there is a need.”
Jackets, coats, mittens, gloves and hats are also accepted and items are distributed through the Colchester Food Bank.
“Mary (DeAdder) does amazing work and I knew she would know who would need things,” Atkinson said.
The quilters at St David’s United Church have been making warm and colourful quilts to donate since the first year the program was in operation.
Businesses have also given. When the Best Western upgraded it sent over a cube van filled with sheets and comforters.
“Even a donation of one blanket is a big help because the person who gets that blanket will be warmer this winter,” added Atkinson. “If you have any that you’re not using there is someone out there who will appreciate having it.”