SPOKANE, Wash. - One local group of friends wanted to spread the gift of warmth to as many people in Spokane's homeless community as they could this holiday season. Instead of doing a typical gift exchange between girlfriends, these lifelong friends decided to take the money to go out and buy hats, gloves and scarves for as many people as they could.
It all started with a Facebook post. Good Samaritans in communities across the nation strung cold weather accessories along fences and meters for those who might need it.
It caught the attention of Barb Litchfield, who thought Spokane could use something like that.
“I thought wow! What a great idea, we have to do it," said Litchfield.
She and her closest friends, who called themselves Santa's Angels, worked tirelessly to assemble fifty sets of hats, gloves and scarves. The plan was to string them along lamp posts outside of Meals on Wheels.
Then the rain came and plans changed.
"We cruised the streets and there are some people huddled up in corners and everything so we are just going to hop in our cars and give out,” explained Litchfield.
The first stop was City Gate, a place where people struggling with homelessness can come for a meal. Santa's Angels spotted one man outside who they gave a hug to along with the gift. It was time to head off to the next stop, and then the doors opened.
In three minutes, all fifty sets were gone. For Ashley Getz, who has struggled with homelessness for eight years, the gift of warmth was too much.
Getz said, “I went to Salvation Army yesterday trying to find some and I couldn't find any and it's wonderful," said Getz.
Not even Santa's Angels could hold back the tears between hugs.
“I wish we had more, I really do," added Litchfield. "Its so fun, it makes us so warm in our hearts.”
As Santa's Angels left City Gate, they were already making plans for next year. They want to assemble ten times the amount of presents, and 500 sets of hats, gloves and scarves.