Turtle Shelter Jackets: An Easy Way To Save Lives
I have the privilege of spending some of my time working with an organization that helps the homeless community. The stories are complex and sad. I have had a chance to rub shoulders with those facing hard times.
One of the many stories that has tugged at my heart had to do with a guy who had established a makeshift camp under the cover of an overpass. It worked out well for a few weeks as he tried to get things into place in his life. Then he got caught in a surprise rainstorm. He got wet as he made his way back to camp, and though he had shelter and even a sleeping bag, he was not able to dry off. He was found unconscious and near death due to exposure.
With this in mind, I am excited to learn about the Turtle Shelter Jacket project. The project started with Jen who suffered a winter in Utah homeless and knows firsthand the toll the cold can take on the unfortunate.
Wanting to make a difference Jen searched for help and found it in Marian Edmonds-Allen who at the time was an ordained minister and executive director for the Utah Pride Center. A few turns later Jen found Angela Roth, a gifted seamstress.
They wanted to make jackets with foam lining because they learned these jackets are effective even when wet. Foam clothing technology had been pioneered by Jim Phillips, an outdoor activist. Learning about Jim's work in open-cell polyurethane foam as an insulator launched Jen's vision of providing this technology to the needy. With help and direction Angela and Jen came up with "The Turtle Shelter" jacket.
You can get involved by making a donation, scheduling your own event, or even volunteering to make jackets from home.
This time of year many of us are looking for ways we can make a difference for those down on their luck. Maybe being part of the Turtle Shelter Project could be yours.
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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins