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 chili made by Chef Tim Twiford (Executive Chef and Director of Foodservice for Redner’s Warehouse Markets) 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. Most recently, 2019 saw 2.5 tons of chili cooked up for the 4th annual event, netting more than $22,000 used to purchase blankets, and towards Blanket of Hope’s newest effort, its bed program, which kicked off in July of 2019 with the help of Fecera’s Furniture.
The bed program sees Blankets of Hope donations used to purchase bed sets that include a twin mattress and box spring, a pillow, twin sheet set and mattress pad, as well as the signature BOH 50×60-inch standard fleece blanket and a 60×90-inch cot blanket. Working with Immanuel UCC, 50-60 children receiving the bed sets have also been gifted caddies filled with essential items.
There is a MAJOR need for beds in Berks County. Our biggest obstacle is having enough funds to make sure every adult, and especially every child, is not sleeping on the floor. Our focus is on those individuals transitioning into a more permanent situation.
To date, 105 bed sets have been donated to individuals in need through organizations including: Reading School District, Life House, Safe Berks, Family Promise, SAM, TASC, CONCERN – Fleetwood, Threads of Change, Mary’s Shelter, Habitat for Humanity Berks County, YMCA of Reading & Berks County and BCPS/Berks Connections.
With the blanket program, dating back to December of 2011, Blankets of Hope has donated 52,000+ brand new fleece blankets to well over 100 organizations mainly in Berks County and some beyond. And the number continues to grow by the day. But your help is needed to continue the mission.
How does it work?
We do not warehouse our blankets or beds, which eliminates overhead costs. For example, when you donate $100, we ship 20 blankets directly to the organization in need. The process is quick and efficient. Recipients typically have their blankets in hand in about 2-3 days. We only accept monetary donations and can make an immediate impact.
Beds: $145 for a twin mattress and box spring set. 1 free bed is donated by the manufacturer for every 5 purchased, lowering our cost to $120.
50″ x 60″ blanket: $5
60″ x 90″ blanket: $8
Pillow (purchased at Boscov’s): $6
Twin sheet set (purchased at Boscov’s): $8
Mattress pads (purchased at Boscov’s): $10
EVERY penny donated to Blankets of Hope is used to purchase blankets, beds and bedding for those individuals in need. After all… Every person deserves to feel Secure, to be Warm, and to have HOPE!
Blankets Donated Since Dec 2011
Twin Mattress & Box Springs Donated Since 2019
Every $5 donated will provide a plush 50″ x 60″ fleece blanket. Every person deserves to feel Secure, to be Warm, and to have HOPE! Blankets of Hope is a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
- Opportunity House
- Hope Rescue Mission
- Mary’s Shelter
- Berks Counseling Center
- YMCA of Reading & Berks County
- Berks Coalition to End Homelessness
- City Lights Ministries
- The Children’s Home of Reading
- Bethany Children’s Home
- CHoP—Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Marc J. Goldstein
Founder & President
Michael D. Dautrich
Help Chef Tim Twiford (Redner’s Markets) & Blankets of Hope take the chill off to help those in need around Berks County and beyond. On Saturday, February 1st(Sat, before the Super Bowl), pre-order or visit any of our 28 locations to purchase a bowl of his award winning chili for only $5!
We offer 4 choices of sizes: the standard 12oz foam bowl–$5, 32oz quart container–$12, 1/2 size steam table pan(feeds 10)–$50 & Full size steam table pan(feeds 20)–$100.
Last year Chef Tim with the help of students from Conrad Weiser and other volunteers made over 2.5 tons of chili. Blankets of Hope was able to raise $22,975 last year. This year is number 5 and our goal is to raise $25,000!
Please check out the new location form. Some minor changes have been made.
Redner’s 9 locations will start serving the chili at 9am. Get your shopping done and get some chili for the big game on Sun.
Reading Distilling Guild has been added as a new location. Located at 503 Penn St., go do a rum & vodka tasting and get some delicious chili.
Classic Harley-Davidson will again be celebrating their birthday and serving some hot tasting chili.
Ridgewood Winery hours for our event are now 12-5. Wine tasting paired with chili.
Benchwarmer’s Coffee & Doughnuts will be serving a freshly made doughnut topped with the chili. This is a must try! It is incredible!
Mt. Penn Sports Cards will be serving up chili. Go there and talk sports plus check out some of the great stuff they carry.
YMCA’s 2 locations will be serving up chili again. Go for your workout and take some chili to go.
Tompkins VIST Bank is at it again. 10 of their branches will be taking pre orders & selling chili. Check out some of the branches because they might start selling chili Wed or Thurs. If you are a customer, stop in and place your pre orders.
Immanuel UCC in Shillington will be selling chili for a limited time on Sun Feb 2nd. If interested in picking up there, call the office to get more information.
Queen City Family Restaurant will again allow us to sell chili in their vestibule. Go there for breakfast or lunch and get some chili to go.
Donations can be mailed to:
Blankets of Hope, Inc
PO Box 3617
Reading, PA 19606
© 2011 – 2020 Blankets of Hope, Inc. is a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.