‘No one has to suffer:’ Salvation Army hands out blankets, food ahead of weekend cold front

Volunteers also passed out clothing, socks, sandwiches to people in need

Salvation Army Orlando Area Command Captain Ken Chapman stands next to a van filled with amenities meant to help people avoid the cold Saturday, Jan, 29, 2022. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – As shelters at the Salvation Army are overflowing, volunteers took to the streets on Saturday to make sure people in need had warm blankets and clothing ahead of this weekend’s cold front.

Captain Ken Chapman with the Orlando Area Command said they filled two buses with blankets, clothing and food to pass out to people that morning.

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“There are some people who refuse to come into the shelter. We want to make sure they’re safe on the street and that’s the purpose of today is to make sure no one has to suffer in Florida today,” Chapman said.

Captain Chapman said the Salvation Army’s shelters are overflowing because of the cold snap. He said they typically care for 300 people a night.

“We anticipate going as much as 400 through the next couple of nights of the cold weather,” he said.

For those who don’t seek shelter from the freezing temperatures this weekend, volunteers like Tom Morris hit the streets. They brought a bit of warmth and comfort to those who need it most.

“It does a lot more probably for me than it does for them, but it is a huge, huge help for the people,” Morris said.

Captain Chapman credits the community for helping them do the most good, especially during the cold snap.

“We live in such an incredibly generous community and your viewers always get results and people have been pouring in blankets and socks and non perishable food, water, and hats and jackets. Those things help us a lot,” he said.

The captain adds they won’t let the cold stop their mission.

“We’re doing the most good regardless and especially in times of emergency like this cold weather, we stand tall,” Captain Chapman said.

If you would like to donate blankets, clothing, or food items, you can drop them off this weekend at the Salvation Army’s shelters at 624 Lexington Avenue in Orlando or weekdays at the administration building at 416 West Colonial Drive.