That chill creeping into the air means it’s once again time for the Miller family’s annual winter clothing drive for New Visions Homeless Shelter in Camden.
The donation drive started two years ago, after Desiree Miller’s oldest child, Bailee, visited New Visions with her confirmation class and noticed an abundance of clothing. She mentioned this to the director, who told her the shelter was in need of warm winter clothes.
For the past three years, Bailee, her mother and the rest of the family have organized the drive at their home, collecting thousands of coats, hats, scarves and other items for the shelter.
“It’s just who we are. We like to help people who are less fortunate,” said Desiree. “My husband and I try to get that into the girls also.”
Desiree said they’ve begun accepting donations, but they’re down from previous years, most likely due to the large number of Hurricane Sandy-related charities that popped up in the weeks following the storm.
“A lot of people already donated things,” she said. “I’m practically begging people.”
Those looking to make donations have until Dec. 16—and Desiree said she’s willing to accept items after that if necessary. Just bag it up and drop it off outside the Miller’s garage door at 214 Country Club Dr., she said.
In addition to winter clothing, she said the shelter also needs toiletries: deodorant, shampoo, soap, brushes, combs, toothpaste, toothbrushes and chapstick.
Despite the slow start, Desiree has little doubt the family will be able to match their hauls from previous years.
“People are very giving,” she said.