Blankets of Hope brings warmth to those in need
by Matt Shinall
Oct 21, 2010 | 1393 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Four years ago, Ashley Rogers and her daughter Danielle, then 6 years old, had a vision to start a clothing drive for those in need during the cold winter months.

Today, Blankets of Hope gathers goods and monetary donations to fulfill a physical need of others in their own community.

"It was me and my daughter just wanting to give back a little, we didn't have much and still don't, but I just wanted to show her that even though you don't have much you can still help others," Rogers said. "I think that it has affected her in a really positive way. I can remember the first year that we began the ministry, we were able to go to a location behind a store here in Cartersville where there are homeless men sleeping and we were able to provide them with over three dozen blankets. And she was there for that historical moment and she still talks about it to this day"

Last year's collection was surprisingly small admitted Rogers, who hopes for generous donations this fall and winter. Despite the smaller-than-expected amount of donations last year, Rogers said that the ministry has been on an overall steady pace. In light of previous donation tallies, Blankets of Hope has began collecting blankets, coats and jackets earlier than usual this year.

"We usually start up around November, but this year I wanted to start a little early. But basically we just try to partner up with the community to collect gently used coats and new blankets -- all sizes -- to where we can give back to the community: single parents, needy families, sick and shut-in, elderly. So each year it gets a little bigger and we expand on the things we're trying to accomplish," Rogers said.

Blankets of Hope asks for new or used coats, jackets, scarves, hats and gloves of all sizes but asks for only new and unused blankets and quilts. She emphasized that even though all donations are greatly appreciated, she would not want to disperse what others would not want to use themselves.

Her passion for helping others stems from her faith and the challenges she has experienced in her own life. Now a newlywed, Rogers remembered the many years that her family struggled to get by.

"I definitely didn't want to just aim for the homeless and elderly. I wanted to aim for single parents and even needy families because I knew that they don't need to be excluded. ... I was a single mother for nine years, and for nine years, it was really hard for me when the season changed because I didn't have the funds to buy new clothes and new jackets and different stuff for my daughters," Rogers said. "Our sole mission is to impact the community with us being in such a recession and not having jobs."

If enough funds are raised, Rogers hopes to open a temporary soup kitchen this year to feed the hungry and hand out the blankets and clothing received. Collections are going on now and will continue through Jan. 6. Donations can be made at the House of Liberty radio station, WHLB 104.9 FM, at 10 Womack Drive in Cartersville. Pick-up can also be arranged for those wishing to donate without a means of transportation. For more information, call Rogers at 678-899-0921.