“As temperatures dropped into the teens the week of Jan. 11, volunteers with Talbot Interfaith Shelter stepped up to ensure that guests at the county’s first emergency cold weather shelter could stay warm during the day as well as at night.
Although Talbot Interfaith Shelter (TIS) was originally scheduled to operate nightly from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., organizers wanted to prevent their guests from having to spend the day in freezing temperatures. Volunteers from that week’s host site, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Easton, and other faith communities quickly signed up to serve as supervisors during the day, ensuring that TIS could stay open around the clock.
Over the next month, TIS organizers hope to keep the shelter open during daylight hours, from 7 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m., but in order to do this will need many more volunteers who are willing to spend a few hours working at one of the Easton or St. Michaels host sites.
More than 210 people have already signed up to volunteer with TIS, and the community is also supporting TIS through donations of food, blankets and other supplies.
Recently, the Womens Club of St. Michaels dropped off 40 personal hygiene kits to be distributed to the guests. Regina Collins, civics chairman for the Womens Club, invited members to support the shelter by filling gallon-sized plastic bags with items such as shampoo, soap, combs, toothpaste and toothbrushes, among others.
Many other organizations and individuals in the community have donated to TIS as well.
“”John Wafer, Linda Lynch and the St. Vincent de Paul Society have been instrumental in aiding TIS by providing several hotel rooms and meals for our overflow guests, as we can legally only have five guests in each site at a time,”” said Julie Lowe, TIS steering committee member.
Lorry Hofman, administrator of Mid-Shore Mental Health Systems, donated a cell phone for the shelter’s use, while J.C. Penney of Easton donated five pillows and five double-size blankets.
Michael Boldosser, emergency planner with Talbot County’s Emergency Management Agency, loaned six cots that will be used at every host site, and also donated six blankets, a first aid kit, flashlight and disposable gloves.
TIS will be open through the end of February, and potentially into March depending on local need. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, contact Evelyn Sedlack at 410-822-0605 or Lisa Menditch at 410-745-6563.”