MISSOULA - The Open Aid Alliance in Missoula is making it easy for those who are looking to be more giving this new year.
People who have a bag of clothes to donate can have them picked up at their homes.
Open Aid Alliance employees and volunteers will be picking up donations every Thursday afternoon until Feb. 16.
They are currently looking for winter clothing including hats, gloves, and winter coats.
Open Aid Alliance outreach and volunteer coordinator Hollis Hubbard says she knows donating clothes can be difficult — especially for those who may have disabilities, difficulty moving around or finding transportation, or are just too busy.
“We are really happy to do this clothing drive, because I know personally, how hard it is to get your clothing donations to the place you want to donate to," she says. "You sort of just chauffeur bags of clothes around in your trunk for six months."
Open Aid Alliance focuses on holistic, barrier-free health care by offering wound kits, free STD testing, Narcan kits and COVID-19 tests.
“We strive to be low barrier and health equity-minded, support folks that are affected by stigma, focusing on providing resources for people experiencing houselessness, health issues, and who could really benefit from a safe space," Hubbard said.
Providing free winter clothes aligns with their mission of keeping those who are unhoused healthy.
“When you’re sleeping outside, facing the challenges of houselessness, and you’re cold all the time, it’s going to make it hard to fall asleep, and then when you’re tired, you can’t function at your best and if you’re constantly getting colds, you’re going to be more immunocompromised and more at risk," Hubbard told MTN News.
Open Aid Alliance also strives to host a welcoming and judgment-free space.
“It can be hard for people to understand is that it is not these people’s fault that they are in this situation," says Cas, a volunteer at Open Aid Alliance. "They deserve your respect for surviving and beating the odds and being as smart as they are and as resilient as they are.”
Open Aid Alliance recently received a large donation of new, Bombas socks, which can be a life changer for those sleeping outside.