Keepin’ It Local........ AND Generous
by Cate Murway

Homelessness, poverty and hunger are real issues for many of our neighbors. Everyone has a story about how they got to that point and each is unique. Good people can fall on hard times.
Tent camps, mini cities of sorts, are homeless camps that develop behind shopping center strips, under train viaducts and some are hidden away in wooded areas.  The encampment is a community.
And if it is a community, Joe Nocito is its mayor.

People with good intentions make promises but people with good character actually keep them.
Hands-on service can change lives: your life, and theirs.
Credit specialist, Joe Nocito is a man of action; a tireless individual with a helping spirit. Through small and simple things, great things come to pass and Joe is determined to improve his corner of the world, working on solving internal problems instead of concentrating on international problems.
He offers his financial business location as a collection spot for the donated items that give some much needed warmth to the homeless. Look for his neon yellow “Got Joe?” vehicle on Mill Street.

Everyone would agree that housing, not tents, is the answer to homelessness, but a good deal of wishful thinking often follows from this premise. Offering assistance on the homeless’ pathway to permanent housing is the objective. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.

Joe and his group of volunteers are working diligently to help provide for the basic needs of the local homeless in the community, so people in need can get by with a little help from their friends.
The only way the Warming Hearts Project will reach its goal is with a LOT of help.  Please share this philanthropic adventure with all of your networks! Donate your time and your energy. Visit them on Facebook. This is humanity as it could be, and humanity as most of us thinks it should be.
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your own life that you forget to help others.
Helping is the best inspiration, so bring it on!
Helping people in need to be warm, both inside and out! Help them be warm physically, mentally, and emotionally!

"Say, if everyone visiting Mill St. would put gloves, or socks, or toothpaste, or something small, in a side pocket and simply drop it off to Warming Hearts Project, we'd all feel warmer by nightfall, huh?" _anonymous quote_

The Warming Hearts Project is the brainchild of Meghann Morris who was set on looking to help the community one person at a time. The entire project started with a generously donated coat.
The objective began with just trying to keep one person warm.
Joe commented, “Everyone wants to donate to huge organizations. Let’s stay local.  This project is not about simply a coat. It’s about friendships and connections. Not just warming them outside but warming them inside.”
Joe and the volunteers go and visit the tented areas to see what the people actually need, share a pizza or some hot cocoa, or perhaps just play a game of cards, checkers or chess.

Bristolians have exuded kindness.
Gary Alloway, the lead pastor of Redemption Church of Bristol, is always prepared to lend a hand.
“Hey Joe! Set a date and time to help and I'll do my best to rally the troops.”

Kaerissa Nelms, the proprietor of Color Fan-Addict has wanted to do something to give back to the community. Her kindness is a great “style” to emulate. She donates free haircuts to the unemployed for job interviews, so they can project the sort of confidence for which employers are looking or even just to help them get cleaned up. Looking out for the people in her neighborhood makes financial sense.
These customers are likely to nail their interviews and become regulars. But even if they don’t, she just hopes they’ll pay it forward.
Even something as minor as a haircut can change a person’s day and change their attitude.

Jimmy Bason, owner of “Best of Bucks” Bird of Paradise Flowers; MaryJo Demenczuk, the proprietor of King George II; and Joe’s cousin, Mike Duncan have unselfishly donated clothing. Mike even parted with his Nascar jackets. Kelly Harold, the President/ Founder of H.O.P.E. for Single Parents & Families collected mounds of warm coats. Numerous others have donated men’s and women’s suits. All the clothes have been cleaned by the volunteers.

The Harry S. Truman students rallied together under the supervision of Special Education teacher, Mae Fernandez, and collected personal care and toiletry items for those in need after Joe made an awareness presentation at their school.
A Doan Academy youth group united to offer assistance as their community service project.

Help get the word out! 
The Warming Hearts Project is always looking for volunteers and accepting donations, but NOT cash donations. Currently, Joe and the volunteers are conducting a targeted clothing drive for men’s and women’s new, or gently used, warm winter clothing, blankets, gloves, scarves, jeans, uni-sex sweatshirts, hygiene items and backpacks.  There is always a shortage of men’s clothing and larger sizes.
The accumulated items and non-perishable food collected will then be delivered to the homeless, or to local people in need.

The Warming Hearts Project is one of the Courier Time’s featured Do-Gooders for 2012. Do-Gooders are exceptional charity groups that work to help the residents of Bucks and Montgomery counties.
This Thursday October 24th is the Warming Hearts Project’s year anniversary.
Joe Nocito shared, "It's really just friends helping friends; you know, just taking time and seeing what's out there and seeing what we can do to help someone, just pay it forward."

How cool is this community in which we live? We can come together, across every socio-economic boundary, to unite and to make a difference.

Your Choice Financial Solutions
201 Mill Street
Bristol, PA 19007
9:00 AM- 7:00 PM Mon-Fri

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