TWIN FALLS — The start of another winter marks the beginning of an annual project put on by the Twin Falls United Methodist Church.
The "Warm Up Twin Falls Falls Project" is an initiative the church does to help people in need of warm winter clothing. They put this clothing outside their doors that people can take for free.
“It’s a way for, in the winter months when it gets colder, people who need hats and scarves and gloves, people living with food insecurity, maybe they’re spending nights car camping, things like that, to have items that will warm them up,” said Buddy Gharring, the Pastor of Twin Falls United Methodist Church.
The project first started roughly ten years ago, after a member of the church saw pictures of other cities around the country helping people in similar ways. Since then, the project has garnered much more community support and help. In some instances, people have even hung up winter clothing for people to take in other locations of Twin Falls.
“I had envisioned it being a little church project, and the fact that it’s gotten bigger is just really exciting to see," said Cathy Poppino, a Co-Founder of Warm Up Twin Falls Project. "I hope it lasts for a long time because, obviously, the need is here.”
The success of this project is made possible through donations, and perhaps the driving force of this initiative is the church's knitting group which meets every week to help make the clothing.
“They’re an amazing group of ladies," said Gharring. "They get together and they do handicrafts, so needlework, whether that be knitting or sewing, or anything like that, quilting. Everyone has a different discipline but they’ve done a lot of projects.
Once the clothing is made, the church hangs it up outside for people to take anonymously. The church makes it anonymous so that people can feel comfortable taking whatever they need without any sort of judgment.
Despite not being able to see who takes what item, the church estimates they have helped hundreds of people get some type of clothing. Knowing that their work has helped someone, makes it all worth while for those involved.
“Our mission is to help people; it’s not to sit here in this building," said Poppino. "It’s to see what the need is in our community and to try and help in some way.”
Since the winter months are just beginning, the church expects another busy season ahead of them and encourages other Twin Falls residents to help in any way they can.
“If people want to just put up their own hats, scarves, and gloves out for other people, that’s wonderful, just hang them right on up," said Gharring. "Or, if people want to donate here at the offices, they can drop off donations, and we can put them out as there is space.”
The clothing will remain outside 24/7 (weather permitting) for the duration of the winter and until Spring starts again.