Editor's Note: This month the Herald is featuring a series of stories on the Holiday Wish Lists of Mid-Columbia nonprofits and how you can help. Charities can email email@example.com with attention to Holiday Wish List, include name, contact information and a few specific needs.
The nonprofit Project Warm-Up has several cubbies set aside at its Pasco office for yarn.
Volunteers use the colorful spun thread to make hats, scarves, mittens and other warm and comforting items for people in need in the Tri-City area. But the supply is running low, with some of the cubbies empty or only partially filled.
"That's it," said Holli Calder-Cox, program director, motioning to the thinning inventory on a recent morning. "That's all we've got."
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More yarn to replenish the supply tops Project Warm-Up's holiday wish list. Calder-Cox said light and bright colors are preferred because many of the group's volunteers are older and find dark yarn too difficult to see and work with.
The nonprofit also could use donations of personal hygiene items and high-protein snacks to include in "Bundles of Hope," which are prepared for the homeless, as well as flat cotton twin and double bed sheets to use in making quilts. Cash donations also are appreciated, Calder-Cox said.
Her group has been around for years, making and collecting items for other nonprofits and organizations to pass onto their clients and charges. Project Warm-Up works with groups from local schools to the Benton-Franklin Health District, the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center.
It relies entirely on volunteers, with a loyal corps of about 70 people. Last year, it gave out more than 10,000 items, with volunteers logging more than 25,000 hours. Calder-Cox said Project Warm-Up will exceed both those figures this year.
Along with the other items on its wish list, the group also could use more volunteers, she said.
Joy Moberly of Pasco, who makes quilts for the group, said it's rewarding. She's not an expert quilt-maker and her quilts aren't fancy, but they're warm, she said.
"People need warm (things), and somebody needs to be there to give it to them," Moberly said. "It's just something I feel good about."
For more information on Project Warm-Up, call 546-8923, e-mail ProjectWarmup@aol.com or visit the group on Facebook under Project Warm-Up.
-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @saraTCHerald