El Paso, TX (KTSM) — As temperatures drop, so does the peril for the elderly and needy families in our community.
Last winter, one individual, a 56-year old homeless man, died in El Paso County due to cold weather exposure.
“Our goal is not simply to collect and distribute free blankets, we want to check on people and educate the community on how to stay safe in cold weather,” said Grace Ortiz, Extreme Weather Task Force Chair and Community Initiatives Specialist with Adult Protective Services (APS).
During the past two years, the Extreme Weather Task Force has collected and delivered 1,343 free blankets to the elderly and needy families in our community.
“Currently, we have only 120 blankets in stock,” said Ortiz. “We are asking the community to donate new blankets.”
To help save lives, the EWTF stresses use of the “Buddy System.”
This simply involves having a trusted relative, friend or neighbor check in daily with an elderly or disabled person during a cold wave.
A Buddy encourages an at-risk individual to stay warm by wearing layers of clothes, to eat well, drink plenty of fluids and heat their home safely.
If there are errands to be done, the Buddy does them, or makes sure they get done.
New blanket donations can be dropped off any time at local fire stations or El Paso County Sheriff sub-stations. Corporate and monetary donations are welcome payable to the Local Emergency Planning Committee.
The mailing address is: Attention - Grace Ortiz, Adult Protective Services, 401 E. Franklin, Suite 350, El Paso, TX, 79901.
Those in need of a blanket (who meet EWTF criteria) should call 211.
For more information contact: Grace Ortiz at 915-834-5772 or firstname.lastname@example.org .