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Making a real difference in Wasco County
Leela Patel
By Leela Patel
The Wasco County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) hosted its First Annual Winter Blanket Drive during December 2013 and January 2014. 
To maximize the number of blankets collected while making the drive a team-building opportunity, the unit used two collection methods. First, MRC volunteers hung fliers and set up collection boxes around The Dalles, where community members could drop off their blankets. Second, the volunteers hosted a live blanket drop-off event on January 12, 2014.
The volunteers set up a stand in the parking lot of a local business, warmed up with coffee generously donated by a local coffee shop, and collected blankets from community members as they drove by. 

In addition, volunteers gave out information about emergency preparedness and flu prevention  flu during the drive. The drive was a great success. Approximately 50 blankets and other cold-weather items (hats, mittens, etc.) were collected. and donated to The Warming Place in The Dalles, Oregon, which opens on cold nights to provide warmth and shelter for the homeless. The group hopes to continue this tradition next year!

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