Extreme weather task force needs new blankets to distribute to elderly and disabled people during winter
EL PASO, Texas – With colder winter temperatures on the way, the Extreme Weather Task Force is asking the public for donations of new blankets as it works to educate the El Paso community about cold weather safety .
“The task force is actively working to provide blankets to the most vulnerable people in our community who may not have adequate heating in their homes,” said Grace Ortiz, faith-based community engagement specialist at the APS and President of the EWTF. Ortiz appeared on ABC-7 in Four on Wednesday.
“Our goal isn’t just to collect and distribute free blankets, we want to monitor people and educate the community on how to stay safe in cold weather.”
Over the past 4 years, the Extreme Weather Task Force has collected and delivered nearly 2,500 free blankets to seniors and needy families in our community.
“Currently we only have 100 blankets in stock,” Ortiz said. “” Our inventory is low. To meet the demands for blankets, we are asking the community to donate new blankets, especially the double, full and large. “
To help save lives, the EWTF emphasizes the use of the Buddy System. It is simply a matter of having a trusted parent, friend or neighbor who contacts an elderly or disabled person on a daily basis during a cold snap. A buddy encourages an at-risk person to stay warm by wearing layers of clothing, eat well, drink plenty of water, and heat their home safely. If there are errands to be done, the buddy does them or makes sure they are done.
Those most at risk for hypothermia are: the elderly with inadequate food, clothing or heating; babies sleep in cold rooms; children left unattended; adults under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs; people with mental illness; people who stay outdoors for long periods – the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.
New blanket donations can be dropped off at any fire station in El Paso or Horizon City at any time. Corporate and monetary donations are welcome payable to the APS Silver Star Board. The mailing address is: Attention – Grace Ortiz, Adult Protective Services, 401 E. Franklin, Suite 350, El Paso, TX, 79901.
Those in need of coverage and who meet the EWTF criteria should call 2-1-1.