United Way kicks off Winter Warmth Drive


CHAMBERSBURG- This winter, many families are struggling to meet their most basic needs and the United Way of Franklin County is rallying the community to help.

The United Way will host a Winter Warmth Drive Jan. 16 through Feb. 17.

“A combination of economic pressure and increased community need has created a perfect storm where more people than ever are needing assistance, at the same time that available assistance is stretched unsustainably thin by the magnitude of requests,” said Amy Hicks, executive director of United Way of Frankling County.

According to the PA 211 database, from Dec. 5 to Jan. 3, Franklin County had the highest rate of requests for housing and shelter in all of Pennsylvania. For assistance in all areas, Franklin County saw an increase of over 270 callers, or households, compared to previous year’s data in the same timeframe.

For the next month, a collection of food, personal care items and warming accessories such as blankets, coats, and hats.

Donations may be made at any of the 13 businesses that have signed up to collect items or at the United Way office in Chambersburg.

A map of donation collection sites can we accessed on the United Way webpage. There are multiple ways to support this effort including donating requested items, signing up to collect donations, giving financially, or purchasing shelter ‘wish list’ items on a Target registry set up for the event.

According to Hicks, the United Way focuses on four areas that guide work within the community: Basic Needs, Heath, Education, and Financial Stability. The Winter Warmth Drive operates under United Way’s focus area of Basic Needs.

“Basic needs include the needs most critical to a community and establishes the baseline for people to live safely and securely. Alarmingly, basic needs are also the ones most likely to go unmet, because there is a significant gap between the demand and available resources in Franklin County,” Hicks said. “Events like the Winter Warmth Drive are vital to closing the resource gap, and channeling support into areas that will make the greatest impact.”

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