Clothes line in front of downtown church spreads warmth and love

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Gloves, hats, coats and other warm weather gear stuffed into weather-proof plastic bags hang from a line attached to a wrought iron fence around The Presbyterian Church in downtown Bowling Green.

A sign calls the initiative Gloves with Love and encourages anyone to use one of the many empty clothes pins to hang a donation from the clothes line along the fence.

“We will make sure the items get to the right hands,” the sign reads.

Anything donated on the fence will be sent to the children living in homes within the Bowling Green Housing Authority, the NAACP Coats for Kids program or Room in the Inn.

Church deacon and missions chairwoman Judy Whitson came up with the idea after listening to Housing Authority director Abraham Williams talk about the needs of kids who live within the authority’s property.

“Our church is a Matthew 25 church working on eradicating poverty and racism and (building) church vitality. When we talked with Abraham Williams, he told some things that housing authority children needed. He said they needed warm jackets, mittens, underwear, hats,” Whitson said.

That’s when she decided to hang a clothes line on the fence to solicit donations.

She said this mission was a success after just two nights when a person in need took a pair of children’s gloves and a child’s hat from the clothes line.

“There is a child somewhere who is going to have a warm hands and warm head,” she said.

Most donated items are removed daily and placed inside the church to be delivered to the organizations that serve people in need.

“We always leave four to six things hanging on the fence at night in case somebody needs them,” Whitson said.

The church’s missions group will continue this endeavor throughout the winter months.