Free Blankets to Combat the Cold

SHAMOKIN -- A group of people in Shamokin had warm thoughts during this cold weather. They bought blankets for people who might need them.

And it's how they displayed those blankets that has people talking.

Megan Rubio and her 2-year-old grandson Dylan braved the cold as they walked down Market Street in Shamokin. They were on their way to the bus stop and saw a blanket hanging from a tree.

"I want to wrap him up because we have to wait for the bus, and then drive it all the way back to Ashland and walk back to the house," said Rubio.

There's more where that came from. Almost every tree on Market Street had a bag containing a blanket hanging from it. There was also a message inside, telling people to take one.

"I was going to take one for my nephew. He loves his little blankets and he's always cold," said Felicia Albertson.

The blankets did not just magically appear on the trees.

Pastor Josh Notestine and Marty Sinopoli came up with the idea. They thought about tying scarves around trees but went with blankets instead.

"Never thought that it would happen like this. I'm glad and I'm certainly humbled," said Pastor Josh Notestine.

"I think that it's keeping people warm, but it's also touching people's hearts," added Pastor Marty Sinopoli.

Churches pitched in to pay for 100 blankets.

"I'm really overwhelmed by everybody's reaction and how it's igniting people's spirit. It's exciting," Sinopoli said.

People are grateful for this act of kindness.

"Very (grateful)," said Rubio. "My daughter said she picked one up earlier today when she came by with her other kids."

"There's a lot of people around here that doesn't have. I think it's really awesome for Shamokin for people to come around and do something," said Albertson.

"God is inside of us. God works through us with a big heart. Everybody has a heart, we can give more to the community and help people that are in need," said Notestine.

"It doesn't take a lot of time and effort to do something nice for someone," said Sinopoli.

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