Charity collects 4,000 blankets for needy, homeless

Aiden and Owen Shirley, kindergarten students at St. Raphael the Archangel School, rested among the more than 480 blankets collected by the school’s students for “Blanket Louisville.” (Photo Special to The Record by Michael DeZarn)

Once again Blanket Louisville, the charitable effort created by Steve and Kathy Fehder, has collected thousands of blankets for the area’s needy and homeless, and Catholic schools have played a major part in the effort.

In a telephone interview on Nov. 19, Steve Fehder said the charity collected and distributed more than 4,000 blankets on Saturday, Nov. 17. The charity plans another distribution after the first of the year, and Fehder said more than 2,000 additional blankets will distributed then.

“That will give us a total of more than 6,000,” he said, “and while that’s down a bit from some of our larger years, it’s still a really good number.”

Blanket Louisville co-founder Steve Fehder accepts donations of blankets collected by students at St. Gabriel School. (Photo Special to The Record)

According to Kathy Fehder, Steve’s wife and director of the charity, Catholic schools were responsible for collecting nearly 3,000 blankets for this year’s Blanket Louisville drive. Bellarmine University collected nearly 700 blankets, and among Catholic elementary and high schools, St. Raphael School led the way by collecting more than 480 blankets.

More than 20 area homeless charities and charitable agencies receive the blankets each year, Steve Fehder said, including such places as Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, House of Ruth, Home of the Innocents, YMCA Safe Place, The Healing Place, Lost Sheep and others.

Other Catholic schools taking part in this year’s effort, according to Kathy Fehder, were St. Gabriel, John Paul II Academy, Pitt Academy, St. Stephen Martyr, St. Raphael, St. Athanasius, Ascension, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. James/St. Brigid, Holy Spirit, St. Francis of Assisi, the St. Bernard Youth Group, St. Andrew Academy, St. Agnes, St. Michael, Holy Spirit and St. Paul schools. DeSales High School and Sacred Heart Academy also contributed to the collection.

“The Blanket Louisville Team wants to thank everyone for bringing dignity and love to the less fortunate of Louisville,” Kathy Fehder said in an email to Catholic Charities. This year’s collection was once again a team effort, she added. “It was the Blanket Louisville team, not Kathy and Steve Fehder or the Fehder family.”

First grade students at John Paul II Academy posed with a box full of blankets collected by students at their school. Catholic school students contributed nearly 3,000 blankets to this year’s total of 4,000 blankets collected by the charity thus far. Each year the charity collects blankets and distributes them to more than 20 area homeless shelters and charitable agencies. (Photo Special to The Record)

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