WILKES-BARRE — Using the theme “Help Us Keep Our Community Warm,” Boscov’s is again conducting its “A Blanket from Al” project to help those in need.
In memory of the late Albert Boscov, Boscov’s Department Stores across Luzerne, Lackawanna and Schuylkill counties — including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Hazleton and Pottsville — are collecting warm blankets to give to individuals and families in need.
The project, operated in conjunction with Catholic Social Services, will provide new, packaged, full, queen or king size blankets to the homeless and others.
It gets underway Sept. 29 and will run through Oct. 31, said Irene Kelly, Boscov’s regional marketing director.
Kelly said all blankets donated must be brand new, no used blankets will be accepted. Last year, the Wilkes-Barre Boscov’s collected more than 150 blankets and the Laurel Mall store collected over 80.
This year, Kelly said Boscov’s hopes to dramatically increase that number across all participating locations. Drop-off containers will be located in Boscov’s stores.
“The situation gets worse every year,” Kelly said. “We can always use more blankets.”
She said they can be purchased anywhere and dropped off at Boscov’s. The blankets will be distributed to the homeless and also given to organizations like the Salvation Army, Ruth’s Place and St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen.
Al Boscov died Feb. 10, 2017, at age 87. His wife, Eunice, once told a story that Kelly said moved her to come up with the project to honor her longtime boss.
During a ceremony in Reading a few years ago, Boscov was being honored and a statue was unveiled of his likeness. Eunice told a story about her husband, recalling an incident that occurred early in their marriage.
Eunice said she and Al were driving through the mountains in New York State and came upon an accident.
“Albert pulled over and reached for a blanket in the trunk of his car. He never hesitated to help the injured person. Al always had a blanket for anyone that needed one,” she explained.
That’s when Kelly said “a light went off in her head.”
“I thought, we need to do a blanket drive in Albert’s memory,” she said.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.