Warm-A-Thon helps keep homeless warm this winter

By: Ryan Calhoun Email
By: Ryan Calhoun Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock -- Thursday, September 30, 2010

AUGUSTA, GA. -- It's not cold just yet, but we're heading towards winter and many people won't be able to keep warm this season.

News 12 kicked off their Time to Care "Warm Hearts" Warm-A-Thon benefiting the Garden City Rescue Mission. People came from all over to the Augusta Mall to bring jackets, blankets and clothes for homeless people who are trying to get on their feet at the Garden City Rescue Mission.

In these times, the mission said the demand is higher than ever and they expect it only to get even higher this winter.

It's quiet inside the Garden City Rescue Mission right now, but come night time, especially in the winter, all of the beds are full, assistant director Chris Dickert said.

"We'll see hundreds of faces come through our doors this winter," Dickert said. "Each one of them has a story, each one has a need and each one has a family."

Aaron Boxton is one of them. He's a Vietnam veteran trying to get on his feet.

"It's not just a place to keep us warm," he said. "But it's a place to stay healthy not just physically, but spiritually."

The rescue mission says they're at full capacity nightly already and it's not even winter yet. Every night they say they house 55 to 70 men plus women and children's shelter.

"It makes you realize that you're fortunate just to have a heater, just to have insulation in your home just to have some sort of barrier between you and the weather," Dickert said.

Currently they are not fully stocked with blankets or pants, but they say every little warm heart that gives helps.

"Our primary goal today is just to get enough coats and blankets to get through this winter so that each person that comes through the door we are able to help," Dickert added.

"I think we are fortunate to have support like we have," Boxton said. "You can find a much bigger city and don't have the support Augusta does."

Support to keep warm, hopefully leading people like Boxton to a permanent warm home.

"Our goal is to prepare a moving experience that also helps us once we leave here to have a mindset to better the rest of our life," Boxton added.

After the all day event on Thursday, a collection bin will be delivered and set-up on Friday afternoon at the TTC partners' locations:

Subway: 353 Fury's Ferry Road Martinez GA 30907

Ashley Furniture: 216 Robert C. Daniel Pkwy, Augusta, GA 30909

Troy University: Second floor of 2743 Perimeter Pkwy # 100-20, Augusta, GA

Viewers can continue to drop donations at these locations through October 21.

Donations will be collected and taken to the shelter on Oct 21.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 newsroom@wrdw.com Fax: (803) 442-4561
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