With the cold temperatures and rain the borderland has experienced in the past few weeks, the Extreme Weather Task Force (ETEF) wants to educate the community and provide resources to stay same in the upcoming winter weather.
ETEF is passing out free blankets to assist community members in need of extra protection from the cold weather. During the past two years, the ETEF has collected and delivered over 1,100 blankets.
The ETEF says young children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities are the most vulnerable to the cold temperatures.
“We want to prevent deaths, we had 4 last year that could’ve been prevented with a buddy system so again we want the community to get educated,” ETEF Chairperson Grace Ortiz said.”
The Opportunity Center for the Homeless in downtown El Paso is also helping those who may not have shelter from the harsh winter environment.
“To give you an example from one night to the next last week we increased by 20%, now sometimes percentages can be misleading but instead of the individuals that we work with in the men’s resource center, we had 120,” Deputy Director of Opportunity Center for the Homeless, John Martin said.
The ETEF is compromised of 35 agencies and say they rely entirely on donations.
“We ask the community to skip a lunch and make a difference and save a life because a blanket can save a life,” Ortiz said.
The ETEF is accepting donations at any El Paso fire station at any time. In addition, the Opportunity Center for the Homeless says it needs volunteers and donations with the upcoming winter weather.