Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Homeless veterans to receive blankets, warm accessories

PORT RICHEY — It's all about survival skills: learning how to sew by hand and on a machine, how to make a batch of brownies or a complete meal from scratch. This time of year, it's also about spreading a little warmth in the community.

That's the idea behind Project Cover Up, an annual outreach for students in Sue Evanoski's family and consumer science class at Chasco Middle School.

This past semester, eighth-graders have been churning out an assortment of colorful blankets. The blankets, along with hats, scarves, tote bags and sweat shirts the students have worked on, will be given to homeless veterans and their families Dec. 18 at an event that will include free food and haircuts at the Salvation Army on Washington Street.

This is the fourth year for the project coordinated by Evanoski and media specialist Bunnie McCormack. This year it was funded by a grant from the Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and the Pasco Education Foundation.

In previous years, the students' handiwork has benefited teenage mothers and homeless families, said McCormack, who acts as liaison between the school and local service organizations.

For Evanoski, it's a project that she hopes will leave a lasting impression on students who will soon move on to high school.

"It's really an opportunity for them to really be concerned with others in the community," she said. "The typical reaction from the students is that it's cool."

Or "awesome," according to students My Nguyen and Ashley Dyer. Ashley had completed nine blankets and was putting the finishing touches on one more during first-period class last week.

"It's really nice to know that what we're doing will help people that don't have a thing," said Ashley 13, who also serves as president of the National Junior Honor Society at Chasco Middle.

"I think it's a really good thing to be helping someone else," said My, 13, who was working at the sewing machine, stitching together her very first patchwork quilt. "Inside you feel all wonderful about it because you actually did something good."

No doubt.

"For me it's a great thing provided by God," said the Rev. Morson Livingston, founder of St. Jude's Homeless Veterans Resource Center in Land O'Lakes. On Dec. 17, Livingston, a former Army chaplain, will pick up the blankets and other homemade items to be distributed at the Salvation Army.

"This is wonderful," said Livingston, noting the increasing numbers of U.S. veterans living on the streets. "This is a good education for these students, to be aware that many of these people who are walking the street fought in wars to defend this country."

. To learn more

How to help

For information on St. Jude's Homeless Veterans Resource Center, call (813) 951-2288, e-mail or go to online.

Homeless veterans to receive blankets, warm accessories 12/08/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 6:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday


    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter


    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle