By Terry Rogers
On Tuesday, January 20, 2015, volunteers assisted Lisa Davis, the Executive Director of the Milford Community Center tie scarves, hats, gloves and hand warmers to lamp posts in Bicentennial Park. Each bundle of warm clothing were tied together with a ribbon that held a tag which read “I am not lost. Please take me for warmth.” The back of the tag had the words “Code Purple” and a phone number.
“This was just the first of many times we plan to tie the bundles throughout Milford,” Ms. Davis said. “We intend to collect as many donations of hats, gloves, scarves and hand warmers as we can so that we can place them at the bus stop near Walmart, all around the Riverwalk and in as many places in Milford as we can.”
Ms. Davis said that she discovered the idea on Facebook and reached out to Mayor Bryan Shupe to determine whether there were any permit requirements for the project. He told the group that he saw no need for a permit, which encouraged the group to contact the Dover mayor, who gave them the same permission. Ms. Davis said they have been placing the bundles throughout Dover and volunteers say they are gone.
“Our center is a Code Purple shelter for women and children,” Ms. Davis explained. “For the past nine nights, we have had women in our shelter, some of which have children. Just today, we helped connect those women connect with social services to see if they qualify for additional assistance.” Ms. Davis said that Milford Community Center provides shelter, but also wants to help those who are homeless due to situations beyond their control get back on their feet.
Ms. Davis, along with Nicole Cochrane, an intern at the center, and Donna Stalvey of Satterfield and Ryan, who donated a box of winter clothing for the project, walked around Bicenntennial Park on Tuesday afternoon tying approximately ten bundles of scarves, hats and gloves with hand warmers tucked inside the gloves around the walkway leading to the Riverwalk. One bundle was tied on the end of the bridge while others were placed on lamp posts around the walk.
The Milford Community Center will accept donations of gloves, hats, scarves and hand warmers through the first few weeks of March. They will continue to place the bundles throughout Milford until the weather warms up enough that they are no longer necessary.
Code Purple shelters are provided when the weather drops below freezing in Kent and Sussex County. They are designed to provide shelter for the homeless during periods of extreme cold. For more information on Code Purple or how to donate items for the “I’m Not Lost” campaign, contact Ms. Davis at 725-0770.