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Published: Thursday, 12/7/2006

Blanket drive warms up for area homeless

Richard Langford, director of the Mildred Bayer Clinic, and Harlan Joelson unload blankets for the Wrap Up Toledo campaign. Richard Langford, director of the Mildred Bayer Clinic, and Harlan Joelson unload blankets for the Wrap Up Toledo campaign.
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Harlan Joelson's annual Wrap Up Toledo campaign is back.

Held annually since 1993, the blanket-collection drive lasts through St. Patrick's Day. Donated blankets are distributed at homeless shelters and soup kitchens by service organizations.

New and gently used blankets can be dropped off at any Toledo police or fire station.

Two Springfield Township businesses that have been taking blankets for years also will be participating again: HoneyBaked Ham Co., 6145 Merger Drive, and Team Sports, 6144 Merger. Both are in a subdivision off Holland-Sylvania Road, north of Airport Highway.

Mr. Joelson is employed at Team Sports.

New this year as a drop-off site is Marsyls Restaurant, 2633 West Bancroft St., east of the University of Toledo main campus. Car Spa on Dorr Street, which took blankets last year, is not participating, Mr. Joelson said.

The drive begins each Thanksgiving weekend. This year's didn't get much attention until recently because of late November's balmy weather.

The campaign has expanded to about 10 service organizations, twice as many as in years past. The need is especially great this year because shelves are empty, Mr. Joelson said.

"We have not been able to carry [the customary surplus of blankets] forward," he said. "The recent cold snap hit us quick."

Wrap Up Toledo began with the intent of being a one-year event. It has evolved into an annual drive because donors kept seeking Mr. Joelson out.



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