Warmth in the Park Lets Homeless People Anonymously Take Winter Items

A Wexford County community is stepping up to make sure people who are homeless can stay warm this winter.

Their new version of a giving tree is called "Warmth in the Park."

A Manton woman noticed that some communities had free winter accessories placed in parks for people who need them.

She wondered why they couldn’t do the same thing in Manton.

“I understand that there’s a lot of people that are homeless. We may not see them every day, but they’re around,” Jaimie Fellows-Garno said.

Jaimie put out a Facebook post inviting people to donate clothes to the park — wanting to help people struggling feel warmth and comfort this winter.

What started as hats, coats and gloves has also expanded to sleeping bags and winter boots.

“Normally I like to bring them to the house. I like to put tags on them so if they’re found in the park people don’t think they’re just missing items.”

Manton Elementary School students also got involved.

Leaders held a drive to contribute to the park.

Students brought in items and later dropped them off at the gazebo in Manton.

“It actually kind of makes me feel better that we got to help others,” said Joshue Sosa, a fourth-grade student leader at Manton Elementary.

They say it’s good to drive by knowing that their donations could mean a more comfortable night for someone else.

“I felt good because I knew that the community in Manton would stay warm this winter because I know that we get to stay warm and others don’t realize that,” said Manton Elementary School Student Leader Abbie Porter.

As long as donations come in, Warmth in the Park will continue in Manton.

“You see a lot of people out there that might be sleeping in their car or just having a rough time, and none of us are above falling on hard times. You just do your best to help them out in anyway that you can,” said Fellows-Garno.

Contact Jaimie Fellows-Garno at 231-920-6617.

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