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Blanket and coat drive helping Montgomery’s homeless

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From: Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless;

On any given night, there are more than 700 homeless men, women, and children in shelters and on the streets in Montgomery.  As the winter cold settles in, the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (MACH) is planning its annual Blanket Drive to help meet the needs of Montgomery's homeless population.

During the month of November, MACH will place three PODS storage containers at strategic locations around Montgomery to serve as collection points for new and gently used blankets, coats, hats, socks, and other winter wear.  PODS storage containers will be located at Regions Bank at 301 Coliseum Blvd; at the Winn Dixie on East South Blvd at Troy Highway; and at the Festival Plaza shopping center at the intersection of Taylor and Vaughn Roads.  The PODS will be open on three Saturdays in November (November 2, 9, & 16) from 10 AM to 2 PM to accept donations from the public. 

"This project is an annual event that provides for the basic needs of the homeless in our area," said Molly Stone, Executive Director of the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless.  "Whether they are staying in shelters or on the streets, our homeless individuals and families need a way to battle the winter weather.  When we can meet these basic needs first, we can build relationships with those in need to offer further assistance." 

Blankets and clothing will be distributed through MACH's member agencies, including local homeless shelters and service providers.  MACH volunteers will also distribute the blankets during the annual Homeless Enumeration.  During the last week of January, volunteer teams will visit places the homeless are known to frequent, such as shelters, underpasses, tent cities, and abandoned homes, to count and survey the homeless.  While conducting the count, volunteers will hand out food, hygiene kits, and blankets and clothing collected during the drive.

The Blanket Drive is being held in conjunction with National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week (November 16-24, 2013).  The Blanket Drive is presented with the assistance of PODS Storage Containers, Regions Bank Coliseum Blvd, Winn Dixie, and Festival Plaza.

For more information or to volunteer or make a donation for the event, contact the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless at (334) 261-6182.

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