FARMINGTON — Volunteers have prepared for another season of Warming Centers in Farmington, just in time for next Tuesday’s opening.
The Warming Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 6 through Feb. 10 at Henderson Memorial Baptist Church at 110 Academy St.
Old South Congregational Church at 227 Main St. will host the Warming Center on Thursdays from Jan. 8 until the end of February.
St. Joseph’s Catholic Church will complete the season, holding the Warming Center on Tuesdays from Feb. 17 until March 31 at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall, 133 Middle St.
No Warming Centers will be held on Thursdays in March.
Intended as a short experiment at Henderson Memorial Baptist Church, the Warming Center has continued for nearly eight years, the Rev. Susan Crane said.
Other churches wanted to become involved and the Warming Center was split between the three churches.
The Warming Center offers puzzles, cribbage, crafts and games for socializing and a warm lunch, provided by donations. There are also lasting friendships that develop and continue beyond the Warming Center, she said.
The Warming Centers fill a need.
“When someone tells me on the Fourth of July that they can’t wait for winter and the Warming Center to open, (you realize) it is about community and that is what people need,” Crane said.
After the first Warming Center, participants were asked to complete a survey. One person said they didn’t get out of bed in the winter because it was the only place they could stay warm, Crane said.
“The person said the Warming Center gave them a reason to get up and out and to be with other people,” she said. “It apparently works.”
All of the food, including coffee and muffins during the morning and soup, bread and dessert for lunch, is donated, Anne Storey of Wilton, a Henderson Memorial kitchen volunteer, previously said.
The meals are all free, Crane said, but some participants wanted to give something and it became a way for them to help others. Any monetary donations are given to the Franklin County Ecumenical Heating Fund.
Volunteers are always needed to visit with guests, lead a craft activity, make soup or goodies or help clean up, she said.
To volunteer, call Crane at 778-2163 or visit the website at www.faemchurches.org for more information.
When RSU 9 cancels school on a Warming Center day, the center will not be open.