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Operation: Warming Pahrump Hearts bringing comfort to valley’s homeless

The official start of winter is just a few days away but temperatures in Pahrump have already started to dip below freezing at night, leaving those in the valley without a place to call home out in the cold.

For one local family, that fact inspired not just a sense of sadness but a desire to do something about it and they have set out on a mission they are calling Operation: Warming Pahrump Hearts.

Hilda Bannister and her family have spent the month of December raising funds and gathering donations in an effort to provide care packages filled with items to help the valley’s homeless manage the colder weather this season. The family has established a GoFundMe account to help with their cause and even the children have gotten in on the project, putting in their own money and helping with the organization of all of the items and creation of the care packages.

“We are really just wanting to help those out there suffering through these frigid temperatures who don’t have a warm place to stay in,” Bannister told the Pahrump Valley Times on Monday, Dec. 14. “We have about 50 packages that contain beanies, gloves and socks. We have scarves and we purchased about 20 new blankets so far. We have blankets and jackets that we also had in storage and have received a few donated jackets, scarves, beanies and about 50 pounds of dog food that we will help distribute to them as well.”

Bannister said while the effort is going well on the donation end, unfortunately, the family seems to be having some trouble finding those who may be in need of the comforting, cold weather gear packages that they have put together.

“Yesterday was our first day trying to get these items out to anyone we could find and we felt we came up really short in finding people out there. We were only about to locate about seven people in the course of two hours driving to the various places we were told to look,” Bannister explained. “The captain over at the sheriff’s office (Nye County Sheriff’s Captain David Boruchowitz) said if he had to guess, there are maybe 80 to 120 people or so.”

Despite the challenge presented by locating the valley’s homeless, the Bannisters are not backing down from their mission. They simply need the community’s help to make sure Operation: Warming Pahrump Hearts is able to deliver the packages to those who truly need them.

“We really just want o get these items out to them as soon as possible,” Bannister stated. “We just want to do our part in helping the community. If there are any recommendations of how we can get these items out there, please let us know.”

As of the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 16, the Bannister’s GoFundMe account had seen $317 dollars raised out of a goal of $800. To make a donation visit www.GoFundMe.com and search for “Operation Warming Pahrump Hearts”. To contact the Bannisters with information on where to locate those in need send an email to hbannister03@gmail.com.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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