Boxes of warmth spreading across Lexington

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- An idea which was spurred after a drive to church leads a Lexington woman to helping the homeless population by keeping them warm — and the movement is picking up speed.

Sara Johnston probably didn’t think so many people would hear about her random act of kindness. She says the inspiration came in one day. She was driving to church when she noticed a homeless man, holding a sign simply asking folks to “give what you can.” She also noticed the man wasn’t wearing gloves.

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Sitting through a sermon at church reinforced the feeling in Johnston that she needed to do something.

“Just to love your neighbor and love where you live. It’s got to be kind of hard to love where you live if you’re freezing and you’re cold and you don’t really have anywhere to call home. So I was just thinking how to make Lexington better.”

For her, that took the form of filling boxes with warm clothing and placing them around the city. She admits some of the boxes disappeared pretty quickly, but others like the ones on High Street and Euclid Avenue have been thriving. She knows because of the kind messages being left behind and in some cases, money.

Folks in the area are taking notice.

“I figured out, people who might need clothes or something can help themselves over there,” says one man, waiting for the bus on High Street.

Message like “stay warm” and “thank you for blessing” adorn the tote at the bus stop on Euclid, near the new Kroger. Johnston says that’s probably the most popular. ABC 36 crews witnessed a man, wearing only a hooded-sweatshirt walking past the tote. After looking through the collection, he picked out a coat, commenting on the feeling it gave him.

“I appreciate them for doing something like this because a lot of people need a lot of things especially in weather like this. So I’m grateful for it and whoever they are, I’d like to say thank you,” he says.

Johnston advises folks who want to help, to simply put your donations in the boxes.