Local News Spotlight

Project Warmth collects 8 tons of coats, blankets

Updated: 2012-11-04T05:15:02Z

By LYNN HORSLEY

The Kansas City Star

For three decades, Kansas City residents have shown their generosity by donating coats, blankets and cash to needy residents just as temperatures turned chilly each November.

Saturday was no exception, on the 30th anniversary of Project Warmth, held this year at 11 locations throughout the metro area.

This weekend’s deliveries totaled 8 tons, organizers said.

For many donors, it’s become a labor of love all year as they scour bargain sales and garage sales for new and slightly used items to donate.

Joyce Luschen of Overland Park stopped by the Town Center Plaza site on Saturday to drop off nine afghans she had crocheted. She’s been making afghans for Project Warmth for five or six years, she said.

“They are my works of art,” she said.

Usually she crochets in the late afternoon and early evening, often when college sports are on television. “You don’t have to give the TV your undivided attention,” she said. “And if you miss something, there’s always instant replay.”

She tries to complete one afghan per month, but she took a break this year to make one for her great-grandson, who will be three months old.

One couple totaled their car en route to the site. But they went home, switched cars and completed dropping off several bags full of coats.

Volunteers also took donations at Independence Center, Metcalf South, Metro North Shopping Center, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Oak Park Mall, a Star parking lot, KCTV-5, Summit Fair Shopping Center, Ward Parkway Shopping Center and Zona Rosa.

The coats and blankets go to those in need. Cash donations to the Mid America Assistance Coalition and the Salvation Army will help people make rent and utility payments.

To receive help, people may call the United Way of Greater Kansas City’s 2-1-1 hotline.

Project Warmth has collected more than $7 million since it began.

The Project Warmth Special will run from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 on KCTV-5. Donation envelopes will be in The Star on Dec. 9.

This year, donors can also use cellphones to contribute $10. More information is available at projectwarmthkc.com.

The Star’s Miriam Pepper contributed to this report. To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to lhorsley@kcstar.com.

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