Blankets of Hope, Inc. (BOH) was founded by Marc Goldstein in December of 2011 upon reading an article in the local newspaper citing the level of poverty in the City of Reading, and also an uplifting piece on a Secret Santa gifting money to those less fortunate. The third puzzle piece came when one of Goldstein’s customers bought a blanket as an employee holiday gift. The three triggers were food for thought: how could Goldstein, as a small business owner at that time, help the community?
After reaching out to various Berks agencies, Goldstein connected with Sharon Parker of the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness. From there, Parker linked him to five Berks shelters, the originating recipients of Blankets of Hope: Opportunity House, Hope Rescue Mission, Mary’s Shelter, YMCA of Reading & Berks County and Berks Counseling Center.
In January of 2012, BOH became a nonprofit corporation & in 2014, BOH received its 501(c)(3) status. In the organization’s first two years, 2,000+ blankets were donated to the five recipient shelters through the help of private and corporate sector donations.
In 2016, Chef Tim’s Take the Chill Off event grew BOH’s mission further. For every delicious bowl of Chef Tim Twiford’s (executive chef of Chef Tim’s Table at the Crowne Plaza Reading, Wyomissing) sold for $5, a blanket was ordered for someone in need. The first year saw enough raised for 1,100 blankets. In 2017, that number was up to 1,450. In 2018, with 42 chili sales locations for the event on Feb. 3, Goldstein aims to raise enough to purchase 2,000 – maybe even 3,000 blankets.
All donations go purely to BOH’s mission: to provide fleece blankets to homeless shelters, cancer patients & hospitals, veterans, children’s homes and other organizations that might have a need. There is no overhead cost. Blankets are shipped direct from the manufacturer to the location and individuals being served. For every $5 raised, a blanket is donated to someone in need.
After all…Every person deserves to feel Secure, to be Warm and to have HOPE!
Marc J. Goldstein
Founder & President
Michael D. Dautrich