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When the sun comes up Wednesday, many participants from the Hospitality Center will not look forward to a warm place to sleep Wednesday night.

Rev. Kevin Stewart announced a few weeks ago that the Center would cease overnight emergency shelter on March 31. The reasons boil down to the fellowship room at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church not being equipped to house people and a dedicated but burnt out group of volunteers who not only need a break but are also begging for a long-term permanent solution.

Knowing the deadline was looming, Pastor Holly Anderson Anderle of First Baptist Church organized a necessities drive. She asked for donations of gently used backpacks and a list of stuff with which to fill them:

  • hats
  • gloves
  • towels
  • wash cloths
  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • hand sanitizer
  • wet wipes
  • soap
  • shampoo
  • plastic bandages
  • lip balm
  • underwear, and more

“20 duffel bags (are) ready to accompany our homeless brothers and sisters out onto the streets tomorrow,” she posted on Facebook. “Our hearts and prayers go with them, too. Thank you to EVERYONE from our community who helped make this happen.”

Anderle plans to keep gathering bags and items and distributing them as they come together.

If anyone would like to donate bags or items from the list mentioned above, please drop them off at First Baptist Church, 3117 Lathrop Avenue, on either Tuesday or Friday mornings between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. or Sundays between 9 a.m. and noon. The Hospitality Center will also accept donations between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Mon., Tues., Thurs. and Fri. Call (262) 554-7735 for available hours.

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