Umoja teams up with Walmart help the homeless

Jessica Fuller • Jan 6, 2018 at 12:25 AM

In the midst of sub-freezing temperatures, members of Umoja are taking steps to get warm clothes to the homeless in Johnson City.

A few years ago, Umoja partnered with Walmart to aid in the Flint water crisis, so Umoja member Victoria Rogers said they decided to revisit that partnership to help the homeless stay warm for the winter.

Through the end of the month the Walmart at 2915 W. Market St. will have bags customers can buy that Umoja members will distribute every Friday to the homeless. The bags are from $6.84 to $8.48 and contain toboggans, scarves, gloves and blankets.

After the bag is purchased, a clerk will put it aside for Umoja to pick up on the coming Friday and distribute in downtown Johnson City.

Rogers said so far, the project has netted 18 bags that were handed out last week, and if the project goes well, it’s possible it will continue as an annual project.

Rogers said this is just one of the things Umoja does throughout the year to help the community. The organization also helps with food projects and works with other organizations, businesses and churches to do charity work.

“We’re usually known for the festival throughout the year, but we do other things throughout the year to help the community as well,” Rogers said. “Umoja is Swahili for unity, so we do things to partner with other organizations to help do things in the community.”

Email Jessica Fuller at jfuller@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow Jessica on Twitter @fullerjf91. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfullerJCP.

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