Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly, senior vice president of programming in Ashland/Mansfield in Mansfield and Ashland poses with two drop off boxes at 1400 radio lane for new gloves, socks, and hats. They are also accepting new or lightly used winter coats and fleece blankets.

MANSFIELD -- It's not every day a community makes it easy to help the homeless, but that is what Chris Kelly is trying to do.

"It's something you don't often hear about," said Kelly, senior Vice President of programming for iHeart Radio in Mansfield and Ashland. "There are organizations that do stuff (for others) but we have homeless people here and we want to do more for them."

The host of The Morning Breeze on 107.7 FM said he read an article about how a group of elementary students in Alaska donated socks to their homeless population in Alaska.

"I stopped in my tracks," he said. "I wanted to do this here in Mansfield."

Kelly said it did not take much effort before the idea snowballed into fruition.

There are 10 locations between Ashland and Richland counties for donations of new socks, gloves, hats or coats to be dropped off.

Iheart radio for the homeless

Drop off locations are listed on the poster.

The iHeartRadio For The Homeless project is working with Love on a Mission, Richland County Domestic Violence Shelter, Harmony House and Reaching Out. Those organizations will receive a share of the items.

"Our goal is to collect 5,000 items," Kelly said. "I don't know what to expect, but I wanted to start somewhere. If we go over, great. I expect only for this to get bigger and bigger in the future."

Kelly Blankenship, executive director of Harmony House Homeless Shelter, located at 124 W. 3rd Street in Mansfield, said this project was critical for her and the more than 600 people the organization serves on an annual basis.

"We don't have the cash resources to buy these items for everyone," she said. "We rely on community donations."

Kelly said he was optimistic the community will continue their strong support of the project and donate items.

"I'm hopeful. I think we have a lot of people who will want to reach out -- more than on Facebook. I'm very excited."

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Noah Jones is host to The Open Mic Podcast -- available on Apple Podcasts! He is the crime, education and music reporter for Richland Source. He is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a giant Cardinals fan.