Stories of Change
Holly (left) and Brian (right) at the Concern for Our Neighbor Food Bank in Washington.
Warmth for our Neighbors in Washington
“I got one of the CWS Blankets in early 2020. I use it in the middle of the night if I’m a little cold. I have a cat who loves it, too. I’m happy to get another one today because it makes a good bed spread. It’s super warm and easy to manage—you can throw it in the washer.” -Brian
Concern for Neighbors Food Bank in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, has ordered CWS Blankets for their clients twice now. You can read about their first distribution, in January 2020, here: “What CWS Blankets Mean to our Neighbors in Washington State.” In September 2021 they once again offered CWS Blankets to their clients during their usual Tuesday morning food distribution.
Holly Buchanan is a volunteer with Concern for Neighbors, and she organized both blanket distributions. She is also a CWS Sustaining Partner. Here’s what she had to say about this latest order:
For more than two decades our food bank has supplied fresh food and staples to neighbors in need. These last two years have been especially challenging. Many people lost their jobs and had to make do with less. These CWS blankets are very comforting for our clients, as the nights in the Pacific Northwest can be very damp and chilly from September through June. Some of our clients struggle to pay their utility bills. As we passed out the blankets today, I noticed that is was often the seniors who seemed very eager for warm blankets. One woman who got a wool CWS blanket a couple of years ago said that it has been a big help to her autistic grandson—she thought he needed a weighted blanket for his comfort but he wraps himself in his wool blanket like a burrito and is perfectly happy. She took a lighter weight fleece one today for use while watching TV. The unhoused neighbors the food bank supports appreciate having something cozy and new. Today a client took a wool blanket for his friend who “lives in his car trunk.” One of our regular clients asked for a wool blanket to on the floor to give her baby a clean, soft place to play. One man with a big family asked for and was given three blankets. Imagine what a difference that will make to his family as they settle in for the night!
In addition to our work onsite at the food bank, my husband and I carry in our car bags food from the food bank–pop-top cans of chili and chicken, chocolate bars, fruit cups, masks and bottled water. We give these to people standing on street corners with their cardboard signs asking for help. When we pass someone in need, we pull into the next driveway and then walk back to give them the bag. Some of these people, like Tyson, we see often. He and a couple of friends lost their jobs and live outside for now. They are always grateful for food, but this week they were very, very happy to get CWS wool blankets. Once August passes the nights around here start getting really cold. These blankets are very heavy and thick and the wool repels water—so helpful for outdoor use.
We are so grateful that our neighbors will be sleeping cozy with their CWS blankets. Many thanks to generous CWS donors for making this blanket distribution possible!