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Blessings Box allows nonprofit to serve through winter

ELKHART, Ind. --

Something as simple as a box is allowing an Elkhart nonprofit to continue to serve the community even when its doors are closed. 

Shepherd's Cove Clothing Pantry distributes clothing to families in need. The nonprofit serves more than 400 families per month, and is completely run by volunteers.  In the winter it closes for a few months to give those volunteers a break. 

But the nonprofit didn't want the closed doors to mean people had to go without warm winter items.

"We wanted to do something for the people that couldn’t get here in time, or where circumstances changed during the winter months,” said Program Director Amy Guevara.

Volunteers put out what they call a "Blessings Box." It was put out when the nonprofit closed for regular shopping during the winter. The box holds warm winter coats, gloves, hats and scarves. 

To date, Morain says they've given away almost three dozen coats plus several other winter items. 

"I'm just pretty jazzed that those people got to stay warm even though we were closed," Morain said. 

Because of the positive response, Morain says she hopes to add a more permanent box for future winters. 

Donations of coats for the box are accepted at a donation drop off in the back of the building. Donations should be labeled "Blessings Box."

Other donations are accepted as well. Children's clothing is especially in high demand.

Morain says the donation room has been filling up quickly as the nonprofit has seen more donations this winter than ever before. 

She's added three new tables inside and says furniture is also piling up. 

Everything inside the Cove is free. Morain says its a perfect place for second-hand shoppers or people who enjoy yard sales.

"And if you feel bad because you don't want to take it for free, let me assure you, we have enough stuff for you," she said. "But if you'd like to leave a donation for it we have donation jars at our checkout stations."

Only one piece of furniture per person is allowed per year. But Morain says she wants as many shoppers to come out as possible. 

"We have plenty, plenty of stuff for everyone," she said. 

Shepherd's Cove plans to open again on March 2. For more information on the nonprofit, visit its website here. 

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