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Federation of Salem Women’s Clubs collects coats for D.C. homeless

The Salem Federation of Women’s Clubs collected coats for the Sue Thomas Ministries. From left, Patty Bauman, Kathe Hovanic, Karen Dennison, Deb Schofstahl, Carolyn Caldwell and Joel Sorrell. (Submitted photo)

SALEM– The Federation of Salem Women’s Clubs collected 254 coats for the Sue Thomas Ministries. The coats were loaded into a trailer to be taken to their next destination to be sorted by men, women, and by sizes. Sue Thomas Ministries will take the coats and hot meals on Christmas Eve to those living on the streets of Washington, D.C.

Sue Thomas, who was born in Youngstown, was profoundly deaf since she was 18 months old. She is a former FBI Agent and the inspiration for a TV program, “Sue Thomas FBI.” She is an accomplished pianist and has won state awards for figure skating. One of her most meaningful activities is helping the homeless people on cold streets. Her Christmas Eve mission is called “Operation Silent Night” which is a project of the Sue Thomas Ministries.

Operation Silent Night takes place every Christmas Eve when she gathers a few friends and goes to the streets to be with the homeless. Armed with donations from local and chain restaurants who donate their hot sandwiches, they find as many hungry people as they can. Each year more love is added through such gifts as coats, gloves, socks, hats and blankets as well as homemade holiday cookies. Amish friends in Pennsylvania continue to make piles of handmade comforters. It brings such warmth to the soul to wrap a handmade blanket around the feet of a total stranger. Remembering those who have no place to lay their heads brings renewed meaning and purpose to the season. And although the shops and cafes close early for the holidays, the barren city streets ring with joy and laughter.

There is great joy and peace in the silence of this holy night. For information on the Sue Thomas Ministries go to suethomasministries.org.

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