MINSTER — Jamie Mummey, a stay-at-home mother of two toddlers, of Minster decided to start a blanket drive to help the homeless at St. Vincent De Paul in Dayton. It developed into a mountain of blankets that will bless more people than she first envisioned.
The idea developed from an encounter at the zoo. Mummey met a couple in the parking lot that had brought their son to the zoo, but could not afford to go in themselves. Mummey saw them again at the front gate and asked if they would like to go in as guests on her season pass.
“They were so happy it brought them to tears. I started thinking later that everyone should feel like that at Christmas. I thought about the homeless at St. Vincent De Paul, and it came to me to try to raise donations of blankets,” said Mummey.
At first Mummey thought she might be able to blanket all the people staying at St. Vincent De Paul, but then she found out there were 320 people there. She thought that the 150 she was originally considering would at least help a lot of people. Through the generosity of the community, she ended up with 700 new blankets donated.
Mummey is a member at St. Augustine’s in Minster, and asked them to put a bin there and to announce in that she was accepting blankets to help the homeless.
“That first time there were 30 blankets. After that, whenever I checked, there were another 30 blankets. I asked my daughter the other day why we go to church. She said, ‘To get blankets,’” said Mummey.
Several people helped with donations. Bins were put up in schools and with Girl Scout troops. The word spread, and people all over the area began to donate.
“I’ve become known as ‘The Blanket Lady.’ I met a lady at the store, and she recognized me as the lady collecting blankets. I never expected it to take off like this,” said Mummey.
Forty used blankets were donated, and Mummey made a gift of them to the children’s hospital. A Girl Scout troop took up toy donations that will be given to the children at St. Vincent De Paul along with the blankets.
“It’s been great!” said Mummey. “I never expected it to turn into something so big, but it has really been nice to see how many good people there are, how many people really care.”
A trailer will come from St. Vincent De Paul to pick up the blankets on Friday. Reportedly, they have never received such a large donation. The remaining blankets will be put into a care package that is given to people as they find homes of their own.
“My family and I are all going down to hand out the blankets on Friday. I want my children to know that Christmas isn’t all about getting. It’s about giving, too.”
The experience has left Mummey feeling blessed and thankful to all the people who have helped in any way.
“I don’t know what we’ll do next year. I want to do something, I don’t think it will be blankets. I’m thinking maybe socks,” said Mummey.