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Brittany Collins of Westhampton launches blanket drive for homeless

A recent encounter with a homeless woman at the Hospice Shop on Bridge Street got 16-year-old Brittany Collins thinking.

Collins, a junior at the Williston Northampton School who volunteers at the Hospice Shop in Northampton twice a month, said the woman came in one cold day asking for blankets. Store volunteers haven’t seen her since.

The incident inspired Collins, who lives in Westhampton, to launch a blanket drive for people served by area shelters.

“So when the shelters are full and they have to turn people away, at least they’ll get a blanket,” she said.

Collins took her idea to fellow members of Williston’s Community Service Club. They arranged collection points for new and gently used blankets in several area communities.

They are: Big E’s store and the Emily Williston Library in Easthampton; the Westhampton Public Library in Westhampton; Edwards Public Library in Southampton; Starbucks and Forbes Library in Northampton; and Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Church in Westfield.

Four area homeless shelters have signed up to distribute the blankets and service club members may also be able to hand them out at local churches, Collins said.

For more information, email or call Colllins at bcollins@williston.com or 230-1880.

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