Eagle River woman’s mission to warm the homeless continues

Monday, January 14, 2019 - 15:29
  • Eagle River’s Sheri Boggs poses with some of the items donated for the 2018 Project Homeless Connect event. For the past decade, Boggs has been collecting hats, gloves, mittens and scarves for Anchorage’s homeless population. This year’s event is Jan. 23 at the Egan Center in Anchorage. (Photo courtesy of Sheri Boggs)

After a decade of warming Anchorage’s homeless, Sheri Boggs isn’t slowing down any time soon.

Each year, the Eagle River woman collects hats, gloves, mittens and scarves to donate at the annual Project Homeless Connect event in Anchorage. What first began as a small-scale project run out of Boggs’ living room has grown into a massive effort involving local school children, prisoners from Hiland Mountain and avid area knitters.

“The first two years I would count, but not it’s in the thousands,” of items Boggs said last week.

Hiland Mountain is the largest contributor to the program, with inmates there annually donating more than 1,000 handmade items. She also takes donations from individuals, many of whom have been participating for years.

“I have one lady who starts making hats the day after the event,” she said.

Kids also supply hundreds of items during sock drives at local elementary schools. So far, Boggs said she’s gotten commitments from Alpenglow Elementary, Homestead Elementary, Ravenwood Elementary, Lake Otis Elementary, East High and Kasuun Elementary.

“My whole goal was always to get more kids involved,” she said.

Last year, the students at Alpenglow collected more than 1,500 pairs of socks, Boggs said.

Presented by the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness and the United Way of Anchorage, Project Homeless Connect is a fee annual event that provides goods and services to homeless people in Anchorage. The event provides everything from hair cuts and HIV testing to needle exchanges, mental health referrals and substance abuse counseling.

Boggs said she will collect all the items and deliver them to the Egan Center for the annual event, which is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Although she’s built up a large group of contributors over the years, Boggs said donations are always needed. The most needed items are warm gloves, she said.

“We never have enough mittens or gloves,” she said.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the effort can drop items off at the Tangled Skein in Eagle River or at Far North Yarn in Anchorage. Anyone with larger amount to donate (such as boxes) should contact Boggs personally at [email protected].

Email Star editor Matt Tunseth at [email protected] or call 257-4274

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