Volunteers though out Yakima County have been helping Project Warm-Up keep the chill away from those in need for more than 30-years. The group is part of Yakima County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) which helps solve critical community problems in the county.
“We have 400 volunteers for RSVP and about 60 for Project Warm Up,” said Deborah Wilson, the programs director.
The volunteers who participate in Project Warm-Up knit, crochet, and make quilts, which are then donated to a variety of organizations in Yakima County. The donations are then distributed to those in need. According to Wilson the program began in the mid-1980s as a collaborative effort between Pacific Power and RSVP.
“A lot of people come here, move here, and aren’t prepared for the winters,” she said. “Pacific Power became our partner to help support the program to make sure that low income families with lots of children, and seniors were not subject to hypothermia.”
“The goal is to help low income families and seniors, and people at risk, just to provide them with warm items towards cold, cold winters,” she went on to say.
The program not only helps those in need but also provides an outlet for seniors looking to stay busy.
“It also helps the seniors who are involved because a lot of the ladies who do the knitting and crocheting. They have an art, a gift, a craft… and this gives them an opportunity to use that craft and provide something that’s needed for that community,” said Wilson. “Most of the women who started knitting for the program came to us because they said they’ve already knitted every hat, gloves and scarf for every family member, extended family member, and most neighbors, and didn’t have anybody else to do it for. This gives them an opportunity to connect with one another, to connect to a larger group, to provide service for the community, and to continue doing what they love to do, and do it at home.
Project Warm-Up has been donating hand-crafted gloves, hats, scarves, and quilts to the Homeless Network of Yakima County’s annual Project Homeless Connect events for many years now, and the items are always very popular with attendees.
“We love working with programs like Project Homeless Connect, because we know those items will go to people who really need them, and that’s the whole point” said Wilson.
Project Warm Up is always happy to accept donations to help them buy yarn, or if you know someone with a closet full of yarn or sewing supplies, they would be happy to take it. For more information about the group, or to make a donation, you can contact Wilson at (509) 902-1115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week we would like to thank Project Warm-Up for their continuing support of Project Homeless Connect.
Homeless Network of Yakima County