Volunteers from Project Warm-Up already have made and collected thousands of items for the area’s hurting and needy this year, from knitted hats and blankets to kits stuffed with toiletries and high-protein snacks.
And they need supplies to keep their good work going.
“We have enough fabric on our shelves to make two blankets, but we have no batting,” said Holli Calder-Cox, the Pasco-based nonprofit’s director. “And we have fewer than 100 skeins of yarn on the shelves.”
Donations of yarn, fabric, batting and items for the kits are at the top of Project Warm-Up’s holiday wish list. So are cash donations, which the group can leverage into even more supplies. “We are couponers,” Calder-Cox noted.
The group also could use volunteers.
Last year, Project Warm-Up was featured as part of the Herald’s first Holiday Wish List series, and the community stepped up in response, contributing, for example, more than 1,800 skeins of yarn and $2,500 to the group.
Project Warm-Up makes and collects items for other nonprofits and organizations to distribute, working with local schools and agencies such as the Benton-Franklin Health District, the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center.
“We hope that (our love) shows through our work,” Calder-Cox told the Herald, adding that she’s a Christian and feels called to give back to her community. “These are my neighbors,” she said.
Cassandra Damian of Kennewick is one of Project Warm-Up’s volunteers. She helps in the office and her mom, Belinda Calderon, also pitches in for the group.
Damian said they once struggled to get by and felt compelled to help others in tough spots. “I think it’s great — it’s an ever-expanding thing,” she said of Project Warm-Up’s work. “So many people don’t want to see (need and poverty in the community). They want to ignore and it will go away. But it won’t.”
Along with Project Warm-Up, more than two dozen other local nonprofits were featured in the Herald last December as part of the Holiday Wish List series.
It sought to highlight specific needs.
Every Herald reporter and photographer participated in the series, and donations poured in — from a new van for a traveling teacher for the Edith Bishel Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired to an anonymous $10,000 gift for the Children’s Developmental Center.
Donations can be dropped off during business hours at the nonprofit’s headquarters at Community Action Connections, 720 W. Court St., Pasco.
Project Warm-up also can be found on Facebook.