The Cover the City Project is dedicated to helping those who are less fortunate by giving them blankets to provide warmth during the chilly winter months. In 2013, Amanda Anderson witnessed a homeless man sleeping outside for several weeks around the holiday season, which inspired her to take action and give the man warm clothing. This sparked the beginning of the Cover the City project with the mission of supporting the homeless in shelters as well as those who do not utilize the shelters during the cold winter months. Every November, Cover the City has a blanket drive to collect new and gently used blankets. This incredible non-profit has grown to have eight chapters across North Carolina, South Carolina, New York, and Ohio. It is not just through providing blankets that this organization is making a difference, but also through the intangible warmth and love that each of their volunteers provides to the homeless.
We are so grateful to have such good-hearted people, like the founders of Cover the City, live in our hometown of High Point. It is truly inspiring meeting people who are committed to making a positive difference in the world. Read below to learn more about the Cover the City Project!
Q. Tell us about Cover the City in about 10 words.
A. We cover cities literally and physically with warmth and love.
Q. Why was it started and what was the vision?
A. CTC was started because it was brought to my attention that many area homeless shelters needed blankets during the winter months to help get those without shelter warm. The vision of CTC was just to be a once a year project to help homeless shelters, and while that is what we do, it has grown to so much more than that.
Q. What is one thing people would be interested to learn about Cover the City Project?
A. Although it was founded here, CTC is no longer just a High Point based organization. We have chapters all over North Carolina and country. We have expanded over the last 5 years because the need is so great. We are in Greensboro, Winston Salem, Charlotte, and Asheboro, North Carolina. Spartanburg, South Carolina, Northeast, Ohio (Cleveland Area) and in Rochester, NY.
Q. What are the highlights and challenges of owning/operating your non-profit business in High Point?
A. The highlights are definitely being about to help those in need when it is needed the most. Many people take for granted that they have a blanket to sit on the sofa with at night, when others don’t even have a roof over their heads. Challenges would have to be knowing exactly where we are needed. Homelessness is so widespread, that pin pointing it is tricky (and actually is impossible), but we do our best to help out where we are called. Finding volunteers would be another challenge, but I must say we have some pretty great ones.
Q. Why did you choose to locate Cover the City Project in High Point?
A. I was born and raised in High Point, moved back here to after college to start a family and haven’t left. High Point is my home and will always be (even if we retire somewhere else). It is important to me and my family to help in its revitalization and help those in need.
Q. How has High Point changed since you started Cover the City Project?
A. High Point (even Guilford County) has seen a significant drop in the homeless rate, which are measured by the Point in Time count every year, and that brings a smile to my face every day. We hope that our gift of a blanket to those in need is part of their life transformation. Showing someone you care, just by giving them this small blanket, can truly be life changing.
Q. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
A. My biggest challenge has to be accepting money from people. While it is needed and 100% of the money donated goes right back to buying blankets, we would much rather have the new or gently used blankets to go out and give to people. I have no problems raising funds and have done it all my adult life for different non-profits but for my own non-profit it’s a little scary and overwhelming at times.
Q. How have the citizens and community of High Point supported you?
A. High Point, as always, has been amazing. The first year we only collected around 150-200 blankets and we have grown every year since then. To date High Point has collected at least 8,000-9,000 blankets. All of the sponsors, donors, and our retail drop off locations have been amazing supporters and I get choked up every time I think about it.
Q. Do you have a particular geographic or demographic focus?
A. Not at all, in terms of where we will expand to. If there is a need and we have someone come forward who would like to be the chapter coordinator, nine times out of ten our board of directors’ votes yes. We would love to see this movement all over the country one day.
Q. If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out in High Point, what would it be?
A. Get involved some way, somehow. There are so many avenues to meet people, to live, work, and play that you can’t go wrong. High Point is a unique city that now is catching up to others. Soon it will be a step above the rest and you will want to be on the ground floor going up. Don’t judge the book by its cover either, try out everything you can in HP, you will find some places surprise you.
Q. What are you excited about for High Point’s future?
A. I am so excited that our town, our residents, and our businesses are seeing the potential and taking the steps to make it a more inclusive and vibrant place for all to enjoy. I am so excited to be a small part of that and cannot wait to see what happens.
Q. How can the readers of High Point Discovered help Cover the City Project? Any specific needs that our readers can provide?
A. Starting November 1st our annual blanket drive begins and runs through November 30th. Area businesses, restaurants, schools and churches all participate and become drop off locations for people to donate new or gently used blankets. You can find our drop off locations on our website, www.coverthecityproject.org or on our Facebook and Instagram pages. You can also donate monetarily on our website as well, 100% of the donations go right back out into the city in which you choose to donate to.
Discover our High Points!