Tuesday, September 23, 2014 · 6:24 p.m.

Parkridge Medical Center ER nurses help keep homeless Chattanoogans warm

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ER nurses cut fleece to make scarves for the local homeless population. (Photo: Contributed)

Parkridge Medical Center emergency room nurses are making scarves to donate to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen and hosting a winter clothing/blanket drive in an effort to help the homeless stay warm this winter.

During the colder months, Parkridge ER staff treats many homeless individuals suffering from hypothermia, frostbite and other effects of cold exposure, in part because they don't have warm clothing. 

“Cold weather can be a serious danger for homeless people, even here in the South,” Robin Marsh, Parkridge ER director, said in a prepared statement. “A lack of adequate clothing or warm shelter can put a person’s life at risk, especially if he or she is in poor health to begin with.”

 Parkridge nurses have created dozens of scarves during "cutting parties" at each other's homes over the past few weeks. The team has also made scarves during periods of downtime at the emergency room. The creations, along with donated coats, hats, gloves and blankets, will be delivered to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen in the coming days. 

“We hope that our efforts will be able to help many of Chattanooga’s homeless,” nurse Malena Condon, one of the founders of the Parkridge ER’s homeless outreach initiative, said in a statement. “When we began this project back in the summer, we knew we wanted to make it a year-round effort that addressed needs according to the season. We’ve got a great momentum going, which is really important, because there are so many people that need help.”

For more information about the Parkridge ER homeless outreach, contact Alison Counts at 423-495-1835.

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