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Blanketing the Southland: The United Methodist Men of Pacoima UMC

newsKnowing the average low temperature in the San Fernando Valley in December is 41F degrees, the Pacoima United Methodist Church chapter of the United Methodist Men (UMM) is getting to work now to collect warm coverlets for the homeless for the winter.

At just $8 each (or $50 for a box of 7), the church’s Men’s group hopes to provide 1,000 military-grade blankets to homeless men, women and children through their project called “Blanket the Southland.”

Salvador Reyna and Rev. Dr. J. Andre Wilson of Pacoima UMC hold a blanket

The UMM’s gift will help only a small portion of those people who are sleeping outside on cold winter nights with a county-wide homeless population of more than 58,000 people.  But, this does not deter UMM President Salvador Reyna from pursuing his passion to help the down and out in his community.

Once homeless himself, Sal remembers trying to sleep under a bridge when a car accidentally hit and killed a dog. Sal held onto that dead animal through the night because he had nothing else to keep him warm. Mindful of that night, Sal and other members of the Pacoima UMM will deliver as many blankets as possible to the Southland’s homeless.

Distribution of the blankets will begin on Thanksgiving Day in “Skid Row” of Los Angeles, as well as to cold weather shelters throughout the Valley.

Monetary donations to acquire the blankets are welcome. This would be an excellent way for other chapters of United Methodist Men in the Cal-Pac Conference to work together, as well as a way to express gratitude on this holiday for the blessings they have received.

Checks to purchase blankets can be mailed to:

Pastor J. Andre Wilson
Pacoima United Methodist Church
12550 Van Nuys Blvd.
Pacoima, CA 91331

Written by Susan Naslund (Companion Staff Reporter)