How can I help the homeless in my community? A local teen asked that question three years ago and established Emma’s Blanket Drive, a project to offer warmth to those who need it.
“I’ve read about what others have done to help their communities and wondered what I could do to help mine,” said Emma Young, a 15-year-old Warren County High School sophomore. “I’ve participated in community service projects through 4-H. I love helping people. I started thinking about what I could do on my own. It was getting colder so I thought I’d collect blankets and give those to people who need them.”
In her desire to provide a barrier against the cold, she uncovered kindness.
“Warren County is a very giving community,” said Young. “Once people learned about the blanket drive, donations started coming in. This program wouldn’t be possible if people didn’t donate. Some people give money because they don’t have time to go to the store and I go buy the blankets.”
The goal for 2020 was 200 blankets. Warren County Lions Club dropped off 15 on Monday and brought this year’s total to 359.
“We wanted to support Emma’s efforts,” said Lions Club member Linda Justice. “It’s wonderful to see a teenager volunteering to assist the community and working to help the homeless. She’s a hometown hero.”
Young makes contributions to Families in Crisis and the Children’s Advocacy Center, as well as personally delivering blankets to homeless individuals.
“We met this one man who sits at Korner Market,” said Young. “His name is Mr. Donnie. He is so sweet. We tried to give him a thick sleeping bag so he can stay warm. He said he didn’t need it so we should give it to someone else. He’s just really humble. He was trying to give us some stuff to give to others. He’s wonderful.”
New or gently used blankets and quilts are accepted.
“We usually take quilts and bedding to Families in Crisis because they have a shelter,” said Young.
FIC’s domestic violence shelter is designed to serve Warren County and offers a temporary home for victims of domestic violence and their children.
Blankets for Emma’s Blanket Drive can be dropped off at Depot Bottom Country Store. Hours are Monday thru Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.