A Tuscaloosa mother and son are collecting blankets and other items to distribute to those in need this winter for the third consecutive year.

Estelle Maye started the annual blanket drive with her son, Karter Callaway, in 2020 through her small business.

"My motivation to start this blanket drive is my willingness to help others in need and less fortunate," Maye said. "I wanted my son to be involved and have opportunities to give back. We talk about what we want to do differently each year."

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Maye said she collected 100 donations last year and is looking to gain additional donors in 2022 and make the event larger every year. She said she also wants the people to benefit from the donations to know they are valuable.

"I drive around and hand out the items to homeless people I see or go to local organizations that aid the homeless," Maye said. "A lot of these people are away from their family members and with it being the holiday season, I want them to know that they are loved and thought about."

Maye said the drive was originally set to end next week when she decided to extend it because of this season's unusually high temperatures. Donations will now be accepted until December 1, when the forecast is significantly colder.

The following items are being solicited:

  • blankets
  • caps/gloves
  • socks
  • toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, etc.)
  • containers with tops for packaging

Due to COVID restrictions, Maye said only new and unused items will be accepted.

Volunteers are needed to assist with the drive. Those interested in volunteering, as well as those wanting to drop off items should contact Maye by email at joiningmindsllc@yahoo.com or by phone at 716-328-4682.

Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 2821, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on community drives happening throughout West Alabama this holiday season.

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