Many low-income people don't have enough money to buy warm blankets -- especially the homeless, who often suffer from the cold during the winter months. Even our four-legged friends living in shelters and kennels can make good use of soft, warm beds padded with blankets from kind humans. Although blanket drives are often organized by community groups, employee groups, schools or churches, you can plan a successful drive with a small group of friends or family.
The first step in planning a blanket drive involves determining what organization or shelter is to receive and distribute the blankets to those in need. Usually, agencies and organizations such as homeless shelters, youth shelters, halfway houses or shelters for women and children are willing to help. If you are holding a blanket drive for animals, inquire at local chapters of the Humane Society or animal shelters.
Timing is Everything
The best times for a blanket drive are fall and winter when warm blankets are urgently needed. Many people are in a generous mood during the winter holidays, between Thanksgiving and New Year's. A spring or summer blanket drive isn't as effective and will require storage of the donated blankets until autumn. Set a beginning and end date that spans one to two weeks.
Choose the Drop Spot
You'll need at least one drop-off location, such as a school classroom, local church or community center for the blanket drive. If you are planning an employee blanket drive, ask your employer if donors can drop blankets at your workplace. Be sure a volunteer is on hand to receive donated blankets and to thank people for their donations.
Get the Word Out
Make flyers that ask for donations of new or little-used blankets and distribute the flyers around your community. Share the information on your social media page and ask your friends to spread the word, or make a special page for the blanket drive. Write a press release and distribute it to local newspapers and radio stations. Additionally, many newspapers publish a community calender that lists charitable events free of charge.
And the Best Part
Count the donated blankets so you can share the good news with blanket drive participants and the community, then deliver the blankets to the organization or shelter for distribution. In some cases, the distributing organization may be willing to pick up the blankets.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.