LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington's Compassionate Caravan hit the road for the first time in 2019 Wednesday. It's a new year, but the mission remains the same: keep people safe from the cold when temperatures fall.
The caravan offers free rides to the Catholic Action Center, which won't turn anyone away while the city's emergency weather plan is in effect. The plan is activated any time the temperature is expected to drop below freezing.
"Everyone is a child of God, and we believe that we as a community are responsible to help them in their good times and in their bad," said Catholic Action Center director Ginny Ramsey.
Ramsey reminds people that while the emergency weather plan is in effect, people can also get free rides to local shelters on Lextran busses.
Driving the Compassionate Caravan is Brother Thomas Caudill.
"When I go out, you know to me this is like my family so I want to try to help them. It's not a life to live, you know, and it only gets worse if we can't help them," Caudill said.
People aren't always ready to come out of the cold and stay at a shelter, which is why the caravan provides blankets, hand warmers, and winter clothes to anyone who needs them.
"The most important thing to us is that people stay warm and that they stay safe, so we don't care if they got a blanket three weeks ago, we're going to give them another one tonight," Ramsey said.
The Catholic Action Center needs more donations of warm hats, blankets, and sleeping bags, as well as food and cleaning supplies to meet the demand this winter, Ramsey said.
Those interested in volunteering with the Compassionate Caravan are invited to a training session Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Catholic Action Center.