Collaborative project to distribute warmth in New Milford

NEW MILFORD — Winter warmth.

That is the focus of a warm gear giveaway Saturday to help those in need this winter.

The New Milford Homeless Shelter Coalition and Tall Paul’s Closet, St. John’s Episcopal Church and the ThriftMart of New Milford will team up for the event that will take place Nov. 14 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. behind the First Congregational Church on Main Street.

Warm clothes, boots, blankets and sleeping bags will be on hand for those in need to receive. Masks will also be available.

A rain/snow date of Nov. 21 is planned.

Arthur Palmer, a shelter volunteer, said he expects the number of people who need extra help this winter to increase due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to job loss and financial challenges.

“So many people are (hurting) more than they used to be,” Palmer said. “People don’t have money to pay the mortgage. It’s going to be a tough winter.”

Palmer said the event came together fluidly after speaking with representatives from St. John’s, where Tall Paul’s Closet is located, and the ThriftMart.

Tall Paul’s Closet, which accepts gently used clothing to benefit those in need, has been closed to patrons during the pandemic, but donations have been ready to be distributed.

“It’s packed from floor to ceiling now,” Palmer said.

Sue Metcalf, of the ThriftMart, contacted Palmer to ask if the shelter was in need of extra blankets, comforters and similar items for the winter.

The answer, a resounding “yes.”

“It’s going to be a really good thing,” Phillip Jones, who with his wife, Ana, runs Tall Paul’s Closet, said of the event.

Jones said it’s been “unfortunate” the donation site has been closed during COVID, cutting off getting items to those who need it.

“This will be a good thing for us, in some way, to get back out there, especially for those who really need items,” Jones said.

“It all worked out,” Palmer said of the project that turned out to be collaborative.

For more information, call 860-350-0008.