When Kerry Corduck-Strickland started working in downtown Turlock four years ago she became acquainted with the homeless community in the downtown core. Feeling a need to help those around her, she set a lofty goal: to provide every homeless person in Turlock with a blanket.
“I’d see people sleeping outside and it was freezing,” recalled Corduck-Strickland. “I wanted to come up with some way to give back.”
The first year of the drive she met her goal and collected 117 blankets to donate to the local homeless shelter, enough to provide warmth to those at the shelter as well as those for whom the shelter did not have the space to house. Four years later and she is continuing the tradition with her Fourth Annual Blanket Drive at her business, A Beautiful Reflection Day Spa, where she is also an esthetician.
For the past four years Cynthia Decouto has donated blankets beginning when she was relatively new to the community. After seeing Corduck-Strickland’s request for donations in a post on Facebook, she was drawn to give back to her new community.
“It just gives you this sense of satisfaction knowing that as a citizen of the community you are helping others,” said Decouto.
Each year at the annual downtown Christmas Parade Tim Guerino of the Turlock Gospel Mission picks up the blankets which fill a need at the shelter.
“Every year we are blessed by them,” said Guerino. “At our women’s and children’s shelter we use a lot of blankets and I think there is a bigger need than people realize.”
However, Guerino is not the only one to stop by A Beautiful Reflection the evening of the parade as many families make it a tradition to drop off blankets as they head downtown for the event.
Those interested in donating blankets to the homeless can drop them off at A Beautiful Reflection Day Spa located at 225 East Main Street. Blankets should be new and preferably wrapped as a Christmas gift.
“We wanted to give not only warmth to the homeless, but for them to also feel that joy of receiving a Christmas gift,” said Corduck-Strickland.