Community Builder: Woman ‘covers’ Columbia’s homeless with blankets and love
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Temperatures have remained chilly overnight, and one Midlands woman is determined to make sure those who have to weather the cold are covered -- literally.
"There was a time in my life when my husband lost his job, and we had to live in our car so I know what it is to not have a place to go, " Annette Hammond said.
Hammond said it was that experience and two separate cancer battles that inspired her to try and make a difference for Columbia's homeless.
"I sat down in my living room, and I asked God, 'What do You want me to do?' Hammond said. "He said, 'Cover others as I have covered you,' so He gave me the name Blanketing Families, and this is where we are at," Hammond said.
Hammond founded Blanketing Families in August 2017. She says every Wednesday night, she and a group of volunteers are in Finlay Park handing out blankets to the homeless. She also partners with Project 153 and they serve a hot meal.
On the morning our cameras caught up with her, she was at Concessions of Hope outside of Christ Central Ministries on Main Street before the sun came up.
"We like to think that each cup of coffee in the morning is a way to say, 'God loves you. Have a good day. Be blessed!'" Jim Sampson, director of Concessions of Hope, said. "I just appreciate this and Ms. Annette, and her group coming out this morning and other times they've brought food and joy and love and compassion to the people."
And the people being impacted couldn't be more grateful.
"I didn't really have to worry about nothing to eat because [Annette] made sure, somebody always made sure we had something to eat and someone was in the park to feed us," Emily Shoemaker, who has been served by Blanketing Families and Concessions of Hope, said. "I I just want to say thank you."
As our way of saying thank you to Annette for her efforts, while she was handing out clothes and blankets Matt Mungo with Mungo Homes surprised her with the news that she's our latest Community Builder.
"You'll get a $1,000 check to the charity of your choice," Mungo said. "Thank you very much for your help with the Blanketing Families program and this is yours."
Hammond shared the moment and some tears with Shoemaker whom she had just picked out a jacket for on a cold Columbia morning.
"We are going to continue to do this and anyone who wants to come out and support just give us a call," Hammond said.
Blanketing Families is out at Finlay Park every Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved.