Stories of Change

A recipient of a CWS Blanket sits outside CCSA.

CWS distributed more than 160,000 kits and blankets in the first half of 2017.

CWS Blankets provide warmth on cool San Diego nights

California may look like a picture-perfect place in television and movies, but skyrocketing rents and lack of affordable housing has resulted in a housing crisis in many urban areas. In San Diego, Community Christian Services Agency provides services for needy families and individuals experiencing homelessness who take refuge in the canyons of Pacific Beach. Though small, CCSA provides a variety of important services to families and individuals in need through two San Diego locations. They provide food, clothing and referral to service they might need.

During a recent visit to CCSA, CWS staff found it filled with warm, welcoming volunteers who were eager to support those the agency is serving. They had a storage facility full of donated food from local grocery stores with fresh vegetables that volunteers were bagging for distribution. There was such an abundance of clothing donations that volunteers hadn’t even had the chance to sort through them all. And there was a pile of CWS Blankets ready to be given to people facing homelessness and families in need.

While San Diego may boast plenty of warm, sunny days, winter nights can be cold, especially for those forced to sleep on the ground. CWS Blankets are just one way that CCSA can provide services and comfort to this at-risk population. “It’s a blessing for us. We can provide these blankets to homeless people as well as to families sleeping in their car,” Connie Villarreal, Operations Manager of CCSA, told us. And the blankets they receive from CWS are more than just covering. “This may be sunny San Diego, but at night it’s cool. These blankets are being used as padding to keep the cold away from their bodies. All these blankets are used several ways.”

As a small, donations-support ecumenical Christian services agency, CCSA relies on the generosity of others to provide these services. Connie told us that CWS makes it easy for a small organization like hers to receive important support through CWS Blankets. “The process is very easy. The people that work CWS are great. They guide you through the process. It’s a one-page application.”

Because of your generosity in participating in the CWS Blankets program, this kind of work is possible. Before leaving, our staff asked Connie what she would like to say to you, our partners in giving. “Thank you!” she said enthusiastically. “The community is so grateful that we receive these blankets. We as an agency are extremely grateful that we receive them every year. Without you, they would not be able to receive the blankets that they need. We would not be able to purchase these blankets; for us, it’s very expensive.”