Donations wanted: Propane tanks, holiday meal donations for homeless

Hands caucasian male traveler, tourist sits in the forest near the lake camping. Uses inventory for cooking. A hand lighter set fire to a torch with a gas balloon.(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Yelizaveta Tomashevska)

Holiday lights and symbols have started to appear, along with a preview of winter’s chill. Also underway: Preparations to lend a hand to homeless people in the D.C. area in the colder months.

A Virginia-based organization that usually holds a monthly event to help the homeless is doubling their efforts during this final stretch of the year.

Folks with The 25th Project usually do some act of service on the 25th of each month. Most of the service projects revolve around food-related themes like a chili cook-off in January, a Soup and Socks event in February, and the Mac and Cheese Bowl for October.

But now that there’s a chill in the air, the organization is looking for donations to help those experiencing homelessness stay warm.

“[On Nov. 25] we’ll do propane, so that people will have propane to heat their tents,” said Jay Herriott, founder of The 25th Project.

And with a holiday just a few days later, the organization is also looking for food donations and volunteers to plate and distribute 800 meals on Thanksgiving Day.

Those wanting to help can bring hot food to Burke Community Church, at 9900 Old Keene Mill Road in Burke, starting at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

“Usually we’re looking for mashed potatoes, sides, dressing for the turkey and for the ham. We usually have a lot of meat, but we’re always looking for mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and pie and bread.” Herriott said.

The 25th Project’s concept started in 2002, when Herriott and his daughters gave out some Christmas Day meals to folks who made homes underneath bridges in D.C.

The organization’s name is inspired by the year 2010, when the varying date of Thanksgiving aligned with the static date of Christmas — the 25th.

Those interested in helping can access donation and volunteer information online.

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