United Way Volunteers Ignore Cold to Help Others Be Warm


United Way Volunteers Ignore

Cold to Help Others Be Warm

Ethan Winner packs food in plastic bags for United Way’s “Warm Inside and Out!” program. The bags of food and warm clothing will hang in Huntington Park until the end of the month for people in need to help themselves.  (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

United Way’s Executive Direct Kim Lorraine, left, and Volunteer Coordinator Valerie Adams, right, hung bags of warm goodies on trees in Huntington Park for anyone to take.

ONEONTA – Frigid temperatures on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day did not stop United Way Volunteer Coordinator Valerie Adams and nine volunteers from getting warm winter clothing and food to people who need them.

“I kept thinking I should cancel this morning because of the weather,” said Valerie Adams, volunteer coordinator for United Way. “But we had advertised we would have the packets on the trees today, and I didn’t want people going out in such cold weather to take them and then not find them there.”

Volunteers gathered at First United Methodist Church this morning  to do the last stage of United Way’s “Warm Inside and Out!” event,  packing gallon-sized plastic bags with food and warm clothing – hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens – donated by caring Oneonta residents and business owners over the past two weeks.

Among the donations were  new and used store-bought and hand knitted sets of hats, scarves and mittens or gloves, for ages ranging from infant to adult.  One woman had knitted about six tiny hats, which Adams would take to the hospital for babies born premature.

Additionally, food bags were made up, including ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat, including ramen, instant soups, instant oatmeal, and hot chocolate packets. All in all, volunteers packed up 50 bags, half of which were decorated by Springbrook students last week.

After packing and sealing the bags, volunteers tied them with red and green ribbons and hung them on low-hanging branches of trees in Huntington Park along a well-traversed walking.  Anyone – adult or child – in need of warm winter clothing and food can take a packet off the tree anonymously.

“My heart is full,” said Adams.

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