It began, as many things do these days, with a Facebook post—an inspirational photo drifting in a sea of otherwise bad news. Refugees are dying, Paris is mourning and the Republican presidential race is devolving into a farce. But then this:
“I saw something online,” Las Vegan Angie Bosco says. “In Canada someone was hanging coats for the homeless from poles. I shared it on Facebook, but then thought, ‘Why not make it actually happen?’”
So on Sunday, December 6, at John S. Park Elementary School, Bosco and several dozen volunteers will meet between noon and 12:30 to collect and distribute warm coats and accessories around Downtown, with tags that read: I’m not lost. If you’re cold, please take me to keep you warm! Bosco and co-organizer Kathleen Kahr D’Esposito will assemble volunteer groups of four or five to tackle the city’s center, including the Huntridge neighborhood, the Arts District, the Charleston underpass and various alleyways.
Called “Keeping the Homeless Warm,” the effort has been well-received. On Facebook, more than 100 expressed interest and 50-plus plan to attend. Kudos fill the event’s Facebook wall, thanking organizers and expressing excitement at hosting such an event in Las Vegas.
But Bosco stresses it’s the idea, not the event, that’s paramount. Anyone who would like to donate but can’t participate Sunday can contact her to drop off items or have them picked up, or they can hang the coats themselves.
“I encourage people to do this in their own community,” she says. “It doesn’t take any money, it just takes your time and digging up a coat from your closet that you don’t use anymore.”
Wanted items include coats, beanies, scarves, gloves and socks, and any undistributed clothing will be donated to local charities, including Safe Haven and the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
Though the event is the first, Bosco hopes to extend to other parts of the Valley, including West Las Vegas and the east side. “I read the news, and there are such tragic things going on in the world right now,” she says. “Instead of being sad about it, I actually want to do something.”