(Feb. 6, 2015) The Noel Community will continue its outreach program this winter by collecting donations of new hats, gloves, socks and blankets for its 13th annual gLOVES Drive.
“Once the weather becomes cold, we get a lot of homeless and lower income families who need these items,” said Noel Community Volunteer Katie Coffman. “It is a nice way to give back, knowing a new pair of socks will put a smile on a person in need’s face.”
Do not forget about the men this winter. People tend to donate more women’s and children’s items, Coffman said. The gLOVES donations service groups of men in the area who would love a nice warm pair of gloves, she said. Socks are also a popular item, Coffman added.
“The community is very generous and we have a good group of volunteers,” Coffman said. “We couldn’t do this without the businesses, churches and people who donate across the board.”
Donations can be taken to the collection bin at the Ocean Pines Library on Cathell Road from now until Valentine’s Day, Saturday, Feb. 14. for the gLOVES Drive.
Also, donations can be dropped off at multiple churches in the area over the weekend of Feb. 15, including St. Paul’s by the Sea Episcopal Church on Third Street, Holy Spirit Episcopal Church on 100th Street, Holy Savior Catholic Church on 17th Street and St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church on Talbot Street in Ocean City.
Donations from the gLOVES Drive will be given to several local food pantries, low income day care facilities and other groups that provide social services to people in need.
Last year, the Noel Community delivered donations to six different groups as hundreds of items were collected, Coffman said.
Diakonia shelter in West Ocean City, Kings Kids Child Care in Snow Hill, Berlin’s Head Start Center, The Samaritan Shelter in Pocomoke and the Department of Social Services of Worcester County are a couple of the places the gLOVEs Drive has donated to in the past.
The Noel Community provides food and clothing to pantries all year long, Coffman said. Members of St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Ocean City organized the Noel Community in 1997 to provide food and companionship for members of the community on Christmas Day.
Every year, volunteers at the church help provide thousands of meals on Christmas Day to the homeless, shut-ins, unemployed, underemployed, lonely and elderly. In addition, meals are prepared for police officers, fire personnel and others working on Christmas Day.
Four years later, volunteers decided to add another event. The idea of collecting hats, socks, blankets and gloves during Valentine’s Day to warm up the community was started with the word ‘love’ emphasized in the drive’s name.
In addition, Noel Community prepares lunches every Saturday throughout the year. They are currently offered as carry-outs through the Shepherd’s Crook on South Baltimore Avenue.
For more information, call St. Paul’s by the Sea Episcopal Church at 410-289-3453.