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Local Shelters In Need of Supplies During Recent Cold Snap

3 years 1 month 2 weeks ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 January 17, 2018 9:19 PM January 17, 2018 in News

WESLACO – Local shelters are seeing the largest number of guests looking to escape the cold. These shelters are now in need of supplies.

First Baptist Church in Weslaco says on Tuesday they saw over double the number of people stay versus the previous cold snap earlier this month.

So far it's the highest number of people they've seen since they opened their shelter four years ago.

"It's always important to help out. I come from a very poor migrant family and now that I am able to give back I want to do it," said Eva Saucedo, one of the volunteers at the church.

On Tuesday night, they saw nine people stay in their temporary shelter.

"Probably the most we've had in one night in our shelter. It was a good turn out and people were able to come in and be safe and just be comfortable for a little while," said Steven Parker the pastor at First Baptist Church.

With the high number, Parker says there came high needs.

"We scrounged around and were able to find jackets for those who didn't have them yesterday but there's always kind of a need for that as well this time of year," said Parker.

Parker says some volunteers even choose to give up their own jackets. Right now he says the main need is for pillows and pillowcases.

They aren't the only ones in need of supplies.

"We are in need of blankets. Ideally, we would prefer new donation of blankets but lightly used blankets are good as well," said Sadie Macias with the Salvation Army public affairs.

"We do help with heaters and we do help with clothing, and that's based on the donations that we get. If we do get the donations then we can certainly give it out. and I'd like to ask the community, if they have any coats, any pants, shoes for men, that's what we are right now in need of," said Victor Maldonado the executive director of the Ozanam shelter in Brownsville.

Shelters across the Rio Grande Valley are experiencing a shortage of select items, local charities too.

"We don't have enough coats. This is what we have right now. We've been able to send some to Brownsville to distribute to Cameron County, but unfortunately, we don't have enough," said Sister Norma Pimentel the director for Catholic Charities.

Pimentel says this year the need for coats is at an all-time high.

"It has been very cold this year more so than other years so we don't have enough (coats), especially coats for children," said Pimentel.

While many of these places are seeing a shortage, it isn't stopping them from helping those in need.

If you are not able to donate supplies to a shelter, just a reminder, Tim's Coats is still going on across the Valley.

You can drop off coats at a number of locations across the Valley which is then distributed by Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army.

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