ROCHESTER, Minn. - In 2019, almost 300 veterans in Minnesota were reported homeless. During the pandemic, the Department of Veterans Affairs reported they're receiving a high number of calls about homeless vets. For those veterans in Rochester seeking help right now, multiple organizations are joining forces to lend a helping hand.
The Share the Warmth event happening at Charlie's Eatery and Pub on Wednesday will be a coat drive and the people behind it want to share more than just the warmth - they want to share hope for everyone who's struggling right now. In a partnership between Rochester Elks Lodge, Catholic Charities and the Rochester Warming Center, they will be collecting coats and winter gear for those experiencing homelessness, military vets and children in need. The event will offer a variety of different needs to help out the community. Kayla Blunt with the Rochester Elks Lodge explained this is just one way they can show their appreciation. "It's a really important time of the year. It's getting colder out. It's a big need in town, not just in town, everywhere. It really is, this is Minnesota," explained Blunt. "So we're hoping to get back to the community and help support those who need it in Rochester."
All of the winter gear that gets donated will be given to the Rochester Warming Center. If that wasn't already enough of a reason for you to want to donate, Blunt explained what else you can receive. "The first 100 people that come through to make a donation will receive either a free pizza from Toppers or a cup of coffee from Charlie's, actually they'll get a coffee right then and there because it's kind of cold," said Blunt. "Everyone will also receive a $2 off coupon off our membership drive. It doesn't cost to come to our membership drive, but it's $2 off the chili feed."
Share the Warmth coat drive kicks off at 10 a.m. and will last through the end of October.