Bags of Warmth Aim to Aid Those in Need

JERMYN, Pa. -- Members of the Wright Center for Community Health braved the cold to hang bags from trees in Jermyn on Monday.

The project came to fruition after the staff of the center noticed a need for warm clothing during the winter months within the community.

"The cold weather in the past couple years being so cold, we came up with a project of bags of warmth, so that we could keep the community warm," said Kathleen Barry, manager of primary care and dental services at the Wright Center for Community Health.

The bags contain hats, gloves, scarves, and socks for those who may need the extra coverage during these cold winter days. Community and staff members donated the items to be put in the bags. Some of the items were even knitted by hand.

"Especially with the weather being so cold, we are worried about people not having access to warm clothing, woolen clothes, hats, gloves, and you know the risk of frostbite," said Dr. Jignesh Sheth, the Chief Medical Officer for the Wright Center for Community Health.

Auxiliary President Gerri McAndrew started the project with the hope that these bags of warm goodies would make a difference for the community in the cold months. It's just one of the many projects she helps to run -- from turkey giveaways at Thanksgiving and Christmas to a food bank and school supply giveaway. The Bags of Warmth are meant to help anyone in the community who may be in need, whether they are a patient of the Wright Center or not.

"No one has to feel uncomfortable. They can just quickly grab them–what they would need–so there’s no check in. It’s just there with quick access for them," said Barry.

"We want patients to know that it’s dangerous to be out there in the cold weather without appropriate clothing, and it could be life-threatening," said Dr. Sheth.

The Wright Center for Community Health plans to hang Bags of Warmth later this week in downtown Scranton. If you would like to donate to the Bags of Warmth, you can contact any of the Wright Center's offices.

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