‘Recycle the Warmth’ for people in need Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Nothing brings comfort on a cold winter night like snuggling under a warm blanket for a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately, not everyone in our community has a clean, warm blanket to call his or her own.

That’s why the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Dane County organizes “Recycle the Warmth,” a blanket drive that collects thousands of donated new and gently used clean blankets, as well as other bedding, to give away over the year to families living in low-income households.

This year’s drive

This year’s drive begins on Friday, Jan. 29, and runs until Sunday, Jan. 31. St. Vincent de Paul volunteers will staff Recycle the Warmth collection points at the three Madison-area Shopko stores from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Especially for this drive, Shopko will offer a blanket at a sale price to maximize donor buying power for those contributing new items. New and used blankets and other bedding will also be collected at Dane County’s seven St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores.

More than 40 local religious organizations plan to take part in the drive at their places of worship on Saturday, Jan. 30, and Sunday, Jan. 31. Donors may contact St. Vincent de Paul at 442-7200 for participating locations or check online at:

Caring for neighbors

“Lack of blankets and bedding is one of the most common problems our members bring back from visits with households requesting our help,” said Ralph Middlecamp, executive director of the society’s District Council of Madison.

“When you donate to St. Vincent de Paul through this drive, you express in a very practical way our community’s care for some of our most-vulnerable neighbors.”

Middlecamp said that for health, performance at school or work, and general well-being, the warmth and comfort of a good night’s sleep matter a great deal to the people his charitable organization serves.

He added that St. Vincent de Paul typically provides three to five blankets for each member of a household when the society’s volunteers encounter this sort of need.

“Donor generosity during our Recycle the Warmth Blanket Drive allows us to meet this need year-round,” he said.

Other services

St. Vincent de Paul serves local low-income households with one of the region’s largest food pantries, a free pharmacy; a voucher program supplying free clothing, furniture, housewares, new air mattresses and new portable cribs free through Dane County St. Vinny’s thrift stores; an energy assistance fund; and housing programs for men, women, and children.

Tax-deductible cash donations are welcome and will help buy additional blankets and bedding. Send checks payable to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to: Society of St. Vincent de Paul-RTW, P.O. Box 259686, Madison, WI 53725-9686.

Donations may be made online at Just select Recycle the Warmth Blanket Drive under Designation.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization. All aid offered by the society is provided without regard to the religious affiliation, race, or ethnicity of those assisted.

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