The Warming Center takes on Jack Frost | Life
Many nonprofits want to wait for global warming to keep the most vulnerable in their communities warm. Not the United Way of Southern West Virginia; they realize that we have individuals in our community who are exposed to this harsh winter in West Virginia, and they want to do something right now! That’s why United Way of Southern West Virginia has partnered with several organizations in our area to provide a safe place for members of our community to get out of the elements, warm up and rest.
The warm-up center which is graciously hosted by the Beckley Community United Methodist Church will not be performing every night, but will be subject to extreme weather conditions. Specifically, the warming center will be open when the temperature with wind chill included drops below 15 degrees (and that’s Fahrenheit for all Europeans who think you walk in when the weather is low in West Virginia). The facility will open at 8 p.m. on those blistering nights and will remain open until 8 a.m. the next morning.
Baby cots will be set up so that guests can get a good night’s sleep and, if this is not enough, the property will provide hot soup, coffee, hot chocolate and breakfast in the morning. . Honestly, the Holiday Inn Express doesn’t offer any amenities at this level.
The facility is open to everyone, so don’t think that you or someone you know wouldn’t qualify or be welcome at the warm-up center. The facility is here to help and looks forward to the opportunity to support members of our community.
One of the things the center could use right now is volunteers to work shifts. The shifts are not bad with each volunteer only invited to work four hours each, but are not for the faint of heart as volunteers will arrive in less than ideal weather conditions and may be working in the middle of the night . Outside of the hours and hours, volunteers will find working in the warming center an extremely rewarding experience knowing that you have been able to provide refuge for those who had nowhere to turn.
Thursday and Friday we saw the hard snow and cold that we expect from a winter in West Virginia, and with such a late start to our cold season, we can expect unfavorable conditions until spring. With these forecasts in front of us, please let everyone you know know that help is available at the Warming Center, located at 217 S. Heber St. in downtown Beckley. If you would like to volunteer or donate to support the warming center, you can do so by contacting United Way of Southern West Virginia at 304-253-2111. They can also be visited at 110 Croft St., Beckley WV 25801, or you can email them to [email protected]