Local church gives blankets to shelter  

Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church members pose with the donated blankets inside the St. Francis House.
Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church members pose with the donated blankets inside the St. Francis House. (Photo by Taryn Ashby)

On Thursday morning, Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church gave away 40 blankets and 22 beanies to the homeless at the St. Francis House

With temperatures forecasted to drop as low as 20 degrees this weekend in Gainesville, the donation is timely. 

“We are here today on behalf of our church to extend our work beyond the church’s walls by giving blankets to St. Francis in preparation for the cold winter blast coming,” said Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church Pastor Michael Frazier in an interview. “We want to be a part of helping our community.” 

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As a church leader, Frazier explained that as church members continue to spread Christmas cheer, they do so in the light of Christ. 

The church applied for a grant through the city a few months ago. The blankets and beanies are evidence of the commitment to reach out to the homeless and the hungry. 

Blankets and beanies were donated to the St. Francis House on Thursday for the homeless.
Photo by Taryn Ashby Blankets and beanies were donated to the St. Francis House on Thursday for the homeless.

“We thank the city of Gainesville for this opportunity, and we are delighted that we can provide service to our homeless with our funding,” said Gainesville City Commissioner Cynthia Chestnut in an interview. “With the holiday season and the cold weather approaching, it is important to help people. We think 40 blankets will go a long way and will help keep people warm.” 

Chestnut explained that the donation made at St. Francis is the first venture, but the city is looking to do other things throughout the community with funding. 

Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church hosts The Harvest every Thursday at 10 a.m., which provides food to the homeless. The Harvest event is in its 18th year. 

The city called for cold night shelter from Friday evening, Dec. 23, through Wednesday, Dec. 28. 

“One of the main struggles we have is maintaining enough blankets, pillows, and warm weather clothes for all the men and women that come in at night, so this is really helpful,” said St. Francis House Executive Chef Nate Porter in an interview. 

St. Francis House expects to have around 40 people stop by over the weekend due to the wintry weather. 

Cold night shelter check-in begins at 7 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Upon arrival, visitors will check in with the receptionist to ensure they have clearance. Porter will have hot meals prepared for the guests after they finish checking in. 

The wake-up call is at 5:45 a.m. with breakfast at 6:30 a.m. and everyone leaves at 7 a.m. Guests are welcome back for lunch at 9 a.m. 

“We try to keep them in as much as possible so that they can remain warm, especially with the temperatures predicted for this weekend,” Porter said. 

St. Francis House in Gainesville
Photo by Taryn Ashby St. Francis House in Gainesville will provide meals and shelter for the homeless.

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Dale E Williams

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