WHEELING — With the upcoming closing of the seasonal Youth Services System Winter Freeze Shelter on March 15, real estate agent Dave Robbins with Paull Associates has donated two exit kits each containing a tent, sleeping bag, pillow and duffel bag.
Looking for a way to help his neighbors in need, Robbins called the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley. Executive Director Jess Rine said after she reached out to several local member agencies, she and Robbins hit upon the freeze shelter as a good giving option.
“As a new Realtor with Paul Associates, I look forward to helping people find new homes. With the Youth Services Systems Freeze Shelter closing soon, I also wanted to help members of our community without homes so that they have shelter,” Robbins said.
Rine said she hopes more people will think of calling the United Way when they want to give.
“Many times people have intentions of donating or volunteering, but they aren’t sure where they can make an impact. Because a large focus for the United Way is encouraging giving in our communities, we love to make these connections,” Rine said. The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley provides funding to 24 member agencies.
The Winter Freeze Shelter runs every year from Dec. 15-March 15. This year’s shelter was held for the first time at the former Hillcrest facility in the old Ohio Valley Medical Center complex, now owned by the City of Wheeling. About 175 different individuals stayed at the shelter this season.
“We appreciate Mr. Robbins and Ms. Rine thinking of their neighbors who have been staying at the YSS Winter Freeze Shelter. We are working on finding safe shelter for our guests after we close on March 15, but that isn’t always possible. We hope to at the very least provide them tents and sleeping bags, and this donation gets us off to a great start,” said Betsy Bethel-McFarland, YSS director of communications.
“We also want to thank the City of Wheeling and all our donors who have supported the men and women who utilize the Winter Freeze Shelter, as well as all the other local agencies who serve this vulnerable populations. We live in a generous community,” Bethel-McFarland said.