Blanket and warm clothes drive held in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On the eve of what may be the coldest night of the year, one local church wants to make sure the homeless will be warm.

In addition to clothes, the Church on the Square also served up a hot meal. For many folks, Saturday is a day to congregate, pray, and eat with one another at Church on the Square. For the first time ever, area volunteers made that possible on a weekday.

“So we just want to bring people together, in the middle of the day, sit and fellowship and have lunch. Nothing more complicated than that,” Church on the Square Pastor Daniel Shission said.

“The people are here to get fed. The homeless, the veterans, off all ages,” volunteer Chris Evans said.

The majority of the congregation at Church on the Square are homeless, or folks that have formerly been homeless, including veterans.

“We can dress them from head to toe in all warm weather gear including hygiene, socks, boxers, pants, gloves, hats, anything they need,” FSB Initiative president Chaz Kraynak said.

In addition to warm clothes, Monday afternoon’s gathering included a short prayer service to remind everyone that although today may be tough, tomorrow may be better.

“I’ve been there and I know a lot of these people from the streets. It makes me feel good for what I am doing for them because people did that for me. This church did that for me. And the Lord is the one who did that for me,” volunteer and prayer meeting organizer Gerry Costello said.

Once prayer concluded, attendees were invited to a warm meal being served by volunteers.

“The amazing part is that Mission BBQ closed their doors for the entire day to be here. That’s rare,” Vicki Coolbaugh of Sweet Angel’s Hope said.

Church on the Square opens its doors to all and reminded us that everyone’s life is important and beautiful.

“There’s hope. There is always hope. If Jesus woke us up in the morning, then there is hope,” Kingston resident Dolores said.

“We are all going through something. And we are here to say that we are here for you, we love you, we care for you. Let’s sit and break bread together,” Pastor Shission said.

For more information about church on the square’s outreach programs, head to or call 570-955-9012.

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