Blanket drive helps keep homeless from freezing


Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Winter marks the beginning of sweater weather, warm drinks and rainy days spent indoors.

However, for many in Butte County, this means cold nights outside. Butte County has over 900 homeless people in the area.

With the desire to help those in need during the cold season, Community Action Volunteer in Education, otherwise known as CAVE, has taken action.

This student run, nonprofit organization has partnered with the Torres Shelter to start an annual blanket drive.

“A large number of volunteers during the school year come from the CAVE program,” said Torres Shelter Supervisor Bill Slack.

Slack said the organization is always in need for blankets and volunteers.

“Our supply is so low because people will come to the door and ask for sleeping bags and blankets,” he said.

Torres Shelter.jpg
Torres Shelter

This is an ongoing problem with the homeless population in Chico, according to volunteers.

“Some of these numbers include both Chico State and Butte College students,” said Daniel Chaparro, a service learning intern at CAVE. “The shelter is only allowed to house 140 people. So if we donate blankets to the shelter, they can give them to those who are out on the streets.”

Another problem is the misconception of homelessness.

“Being homeless doesn’t mean you’re on the street, homeless can be couch surfing,” Chaparro said. “As a student, think about coming to school, dealing with five classes and then finding a place to live.”

These issues regarding homelessness and the needs of the shelter are something CAVE is helping with, as well as getting other Chico students involved in the process.

“We are trying to spread the message by reaching out to Greek life and different organizations from sports teams to clubs,” he said.

The goal is to collect as many blankets as possible.

“CAVE will be collecting new or used, in good condition, blankets to donate,” said volunteer Wendy Moncada. “We have contacted multiple organizations, such as J.C. Penney, to donate boxes and have successfully obtained some.”

Boxes will be set up in four locations on campus where students can drop off their donations.

The locations include

• CAVE office

• The Bell Memorial Union, first floor

• Meriam Library

• Student Services Center

The drive is scheduled to begin Nov. 14. CAVE hopes to spread the word so students return with blankets from home after Thanksgiving break and donate them to the shelter.

The drive will run until the last week of school in December.

Kyla Linville can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.