When Lake County: Share the Warmth was envisioned by Barb Simpson, Ceci Farman and Sally Fitzgerald, they did not imagine the impact it would have on the community and the county.
With the main drive now over, organizers reflected on the impact they had. Since its beginning last November, Share the Warmth has distributed 1,236 items in Lake County to those in need. Donated items distributed included 125 blankets, 263 jackets, 152 sweatshirts, 125 pairs of gloves, 190 socks, 51 snow pants, 26 scarves and more.
Items were distributed to schools in Lakeview and taken to the Christmas Valley area and distributed up there by Commune 222.
Simpson, Farman, and Fitzgerald were overjoyed by the support shown by the community, not just in the amount of items donated, but also cash donations as well. $5,670 was raised and used by Share the Warmth to purchase items that were requested but had not been donated.
It included $1,000 donations from Hall Motor Company and Linda Pardue of Pardue Construction. Proceeds from the kick-off event on Saturday, Nov. 16 also helped to provide seed money for Share the Warmth.
After the kick-off event donations started rolling into the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and distributions started to roll out to local schools and Home Health and Hospice.
Simpson, Farmen, and Fitzgerald did not view the original intent as just another Christmas clothing drive, but more as an event lasting into the winter to help keep kids warm throughout the entire winter season. Now Share the Warmth has worked on dispersing more of the money to continue helping kids at local schools.
$1,000 was distributed to both the Denny Duke Fund and the Jay Lamb Fund. The Denny Duke Fund goes to support students at Fremont/A.D. Hay Elementary Schools, while the Jay Lamb Fund supports students, and their needs, at Lakeview High School. These brought the total dispersal amount to $2,933.
Already they are looking forward to next winter, applying experiences gained from their first year. They will start earlier this year, on October 1, and end earlier right before Christmas. Money that was donated will go towards helping Home Health and Hospice purchase items they are unable to fill from their inventory. The rest will be used as seed money for the second year of Share the Warmth.
For more information about Share the Warmth contact the Lake County Chamber of Commerce at 541-947-6040.