Kudos to volunteers of local ‘blue jeans for homeless’ effort

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Blue jeans. They are a ubiquitous fashion statement — with virtually “everybody” having several pairs in their wardrobe. Most even have a favorite pair, whose gradual wearing away into tatters causes more than just passing despair.

But, sadly, not everybody has a favorite pair of dungarees. There are many in the local area who not only don’t have a favorite pair of jeans but who have no jeans at all — virtually nothing — including clothing — at all.

We commend members of the Rome Rotary Club and the Rome chapter of Zonta International, along with some additional volunteers, for their response to those in need, particularly as we enter the harsh, cold dead of winter, organizing a Jeans for the Homeless drive to assist the Rome Rescue Mission in assisting individuals in need.

These volunteers organized the collection of new and gently-used men’s, women’s and children’s blue jeans, which were collected from Mohawk Valley Community College students as well as collection-site partners at the Westernville Town Library, the Westernville Presbyterian Church, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, and citizens of Rome, Camden and Oneida.

In all, the volunteers collected 665 pairs of jeans, which were dropped off last week at the Rome Rescue Mission to aid the homeless and other individuals in need.

“Our homeless population are at a constant risk of exposure during the fall and winter seasons. Blue jeans are durable, comfortable and thermal under garments can easily be worn with them. We are often asked for clothing, and blue jeans are the first choice of most,” said Matt Miller, executive director of the Rome Rescue Mission during the project’s kickoff in November.

We are grateful to have in our community so many individuals of action and compassion, whose actions bring warmth — both literally and figuratively — during these cold and dark times.

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