CINCINNATI -- David Watson held back tears on Thursday when he learned he would have a new coat to wear for the rest of the winter. He and other homeless Cincinnatians, many of whom deal with cold, hunger and fear every day of their lives, got a trio of warm gifts from the Salvation Army: A coat, a scarf and a meal.
"I just want to cry right now," Watson said.
Everett Henry, a major in the Salvation Army, explained the organization holds an annual "Stitched With Love" giveaway of scarves and coats to make sure that homeless people in the community know they have not been forgotten.
"They do have a purpose and a reason to live," he said. "This is really important for us to do."
Steven Heck, who took a free coat and scarf from the event, said the death of his wife sent him into a spiral that culminated in homelessness at the age of 53. He had never been homeless before; never worried about basic necessities like warm clothing and food.
"Stitched With Love" helped assuage those worries with assurances that resources and caring people do exist.
"I've never had to survive in the streets, so I'm taking it one day at a time, trying to get out of this homeless shelter and get on with my life," Heck said.