Gleaning for the World, or GFTW, is a Virginia-based humanitarian aid organization and is known for providing practical items for people in need. This year, they will be sending blankets to homeless shelters and communities, soup kitchens and food banks across 10 different states.
GFTW founder and president Ron Davidson estimates that a large portion of their donations are going to churches, who will then help find the people who are in need the most throughout their communities. Not only do churches have the volunteers and facilities needed to hand out supplies, he told Christian Post, but they can also use their humanitarian efforts as an opportunity to share the gospel message.
Davidson served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church for 27 years before he retired to start GFTW in 1998. At first, he says, he and wife thought they would only ship three tractor trailers full of supplies each year, but in the first six months alone they shipped 27 loads, making it a point to also help the homeless veterans where they send their supplies.
While it is difficult to estimate the number of homeless veterans across the United States, an official report from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development suggests there were approximately 57,849 homeless veterans nationwide on any given night in January of 2013, a whopping 24 percent reduction in homelessness among veterans since 2010. The Department of Veterans Affairs has made it a priority to see homelessness among veterans ended by 2015, according to a press release from November, and the HUD statistics suggest that goal is attainable.
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