Flint, MI—Catholic Charities’ Center for Hope will be hosting an undergarment drive next week for community members in need. 

Katie Baxter, CEO of Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, said donations of new undergarments are often in shortage, as items like underwear, bras, socks and pajamas aren’t top-of-mind when giving.

“We encourage others to be aware that this is a need and to help in any way they can,” Baxter said. 

The drive is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 30, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center’s parking lot at 812 Root St. in Flint, Mich. The center is seeking donations of new undergarments for men, women and children of all ages.

According to Kellie Pardi, marketing manager at Catholic Charities of Shiawassee and Genesee Counties, people staying at the Center for Hope’s warming center will be given priority to receive the donations. 

The warming center is located in the Center for Hope’s basement for the 2022 to 2023 winter season. Baxter said it has an ideal capacity of up to about 65 people, but there have often been more than 100 people staying each night this season.

It’s the only warming center in Genesee County, according to Baxter. 

“We’re looking at almost double the numbers we had last year,” she said. “We’re also seeing many more families and women and children.” 

People who go to the warming center include those experiencing homelessness and mental health issues, Pardi said, adding that there are also unhoused individuals who have been discharged from Hurley Medical Center.

Some individuals also stay in the warming center as they can’t afford heating during the winter. 

After distribution at the warming center, the Center for Hope will distribute the remainder of the donated undergarments to various programs, such as the Community Closet, the Offender Success program as well as the Adoption and Foster Care program, according to Pardi.

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...