Mint Hill woman collecting 100-plus sleeping bags, blankets for homeless in freezing temperatures

Updated: Nov. 13, 2019 at 4:39 PM EST
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MINT HILL, N.C. (WBTV) - Cindy Platko’s Mint Hill garage is filled with gear for the cold weather. The stockpile is born from a need her family saw in the homeless community, in uptown Charlotte 15 years ago.

“Somehow, we needed to do something,” Platko says.

Since then, the family’s yearly collection has grown a hundred times over.

“It starts with one or two people,” Platko says. “And pretty soon it was 20 people, and now we have over 120 volunteers.”

She is showing that you do not have to be a county leader or a local shelter to help the homeless community when temperatures dip to freezing. Platko is collecting things like 100 sleeping bags, even 200 backpacks, to help other families she has never met.

“That could be my brother, my sister, my mother, my father,” Platko says.

People from local schools, churches, business, and other families are chipping in.

“If you just ask, people really want to help,” she says. “People do care. They just don’t know where to start.”

She suggests to others, to start small.

“If everybody does one little thing, it becomes a really big thing.”

Cindy and her now 120 friends will hand out the items collected on Saturday at 1 p.m., at the Community Support Services Center in uptown. She calls it the Charlotte Blanket Banquet.

In Charlotte, groups like Urban Ministries are requesting durable hats and gloves that can hold up if it rains or snows, tents, sleeping bags, and most of all – monetary donations.

Below are links to groups and nonprofits in the Charlotte area, and how you can help them during the cold season:

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