Keeping warm during cold weather can be expensive. The cost of home heating can be a financial strain on many families in Charleston, WV and other communities. The cost of a new coat isn't always in the budget either.
That is why one West Virginia charity is pleading for help as donations dwindle to almost half what they were last year.
"I had been working all of my life and all of a sudden I wasn't needed any more," said Sherry Turley, a volunteer at the Union Mission. She was shocked a few months ago to find herself unemployed, low on money and no job in sight. She got help from the Union Mission during those tough times. Which is why she decided to become a volunteer.
"I understand fully what it is like to go from having a great job and having all that I need to having nothing," Turley said. "It was very humiliating."
She works in the thrift store and will be helping with the Union Mission's coat giveaway Saturday. But there is a problem. As the cold weather approaches the charity is struggling to keep coats and blankets on the shelves.
"This is the lowest I have ever seen it and all of these people need so much," Turley said.
Donations of coats are 50 percent below what they were this time last year. Blankets are being given away as fast as they are donated to the store.
"They use those to cover up and cut off the wind," Turley said about the blankets. "They have ice growing on their walls where it is so cold."
It is a concern not just for caring for the community's homeless, but those like Turley, who have found themselves in a difficult spot as the coldest time of year approaches.
"We are talking about the single mother who has children, someone who has been laid off, the elderly who can't afford medicine and food," said Tammy Scott, Director of Development for the Union Mission.
If you have a coat, blanket, gloves, socks or scarves that you would like to donate to the Union Mission, you can stop by any of their facilities during business hours to drop off those items.
The donations can be new or used as long as they are clean.
For more information follow the link provided.