LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Lafayette woman has helped collect more than 12,000 blankets over the last four years. Julie Pope's project is called Cover Lafayette and it's helping warm the Greater Lafayette community.
"It doesn't matter what their situation is, anyone's situation," Pope said. "If you need a blanket and there's one out there, get it."
For Pope, collecting blankets for those in need is more than a community service project. It's an opportunity to honor her great-great-great-grandfather's legacy.
Pope said, "It's so special because something really good came from something really bad."
He was a prisoner of war in Andersonville, Georgia.
"Our family had gotten his journal," Pope said, "As we got to read it and we heard about the horrific conditions in Andersonville during the civil war."
He described how he was cold, he needed blankets, and he needed cover, but never got it. A challenge some people in Greater Lafayette face today.
"I just thought let's go ahead and honor his legacy and Cover Lafayette because we don't have to be cold if we don't need to be," Pope said.
So Pope started her project called Cover Lafayette four years ago. With help and donations from the community, more than 12,000 blankets have been collected. You can drop off your gently used blankets 24/7.
"At 927 Main," said Pope. "The Buttery Shelf has been so, so, so fabulous."
On the porch you'll find two large bins. Take what you and give what you can to help keep the Greater Lafayette community warm.
Pope said, "Until people donate blankets and no one ever uses one or comes and gets one, then we haven't solved a challenge that we have in the winter."
The Cover Lafayette project usually wraps up in the spring. She likes to keep the collections going until temperatures stay above 32 degrees outside.