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Thankful for gift of warmth
Community provides quilts, beds and more
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Overnight temperatures plunged deep in the 20s last week, more than a month before the official start of winter.

So what happens when your heat has been cut off because of unpaid utility bills?  Or your apartment management is slow to fix the broken heating system?  You might sleep in the car, but you can’t pay for the gas to keep the motor running.

For all too many Warren County citizens — and their children — these are some of the cruel, painful realties of cold weather.

So the gift of warmth is a great blessing.  And that blessing often comes from the hands of church and community volunteers who sew quilts and blankets for families in distress.

“Central’s ladies have been making quilts for many years.  I wouldn’t want to guess how many, but it would be a lot,” said Doug Bost, one of the elders at Central Church of Christ.   

“It might seem like a small thing to people who can easily buy blankets and quilts and pay their heating bills.  But for the many people who are not so fortunate, one of these quilts is really a blessing on cold nights.”

Central is not the only church helping support their neighbors through cold weather and tough economic times.  Several other Christian groups and civic organizations collaborate in providing critical aid to families, and much of that help is channeled through the Warren County school system’s Family Resource Center (FRC).  

“We served over 1,800 students last year, a third of our student body,” recalled Sharon Hargrove, one of the two staffers at FRC, housed at Warren County Middle School.

Hargrove praises churches, businesses and community organizations for their enthusiasm and generosity in providing humanitarian assistance through the FRC.  “If I made a list of the community supporters it would be pages long,” she emphasized.

Just one example is the Bridgestone Americas tire plant at Morrison, whose funding has provided food support through FRC “for many years,” she noted.              

Alongside the donations of food, clothing and personal hygiene items, a major emphasis at FRC has been its bed program.   Since its inception in 2018, the center has facilitated the distribution of 290 beds to needy families, according to Delia Walker, the co-founder and continuing partner with Hargrove in the student-support operation.

Some of those beds are regular commercial products purchased with donations from local citizens.  But many are handmade by Warren County artisans and craftsmen, all of them volunteering in an effort to give a good night’s rest to students and their parents.

In the bed program, Central Church of Christ is again a major contributor, having built and delivered a number of single and bunk beds, most of them fashioned from hardwoods harvested in or near Warren County.

“Most of them are so thrilled to get these beds,” Walker observed.   Taken for granted by most people, a real bed is a treasured luxury by those who’ve had to sleep on the floor, on an air mattress or a worn-out sofa, she offered.

Ever mindful of the school system’s duty to educate, the FRC routinely opens up its Take Five library, distributing age-appropriate books to children whose families are receiving material aid from the agency, Walker noted. 

The Center is open during normal school hours, but applicants are urged to call  in advance of their visit.  The number is (931) 507-5180.  Voice mail is always available, and callers are invited to leave a message.