Local father and son continue winter blankets donations

Mike Stein and his son Matt have been donating blankets for homeless youth over the last two winters.

A Torrey Hills father and son are continuing an effort they started last year to raise money for blankets that are donated to homeless youth throughout the region, making the winter season a little more bearable.

“We got a little bit smarter this year, we get a majority of our blankets in bulk from big suppliers,” said Mike Stein, who has been working on the “Share a Warm Hug Blanket Drive” with his son Matt, 15, a sophomore at Maranatha Christian Schools. “Although with the whole logistics, supply chain issue, that hasn’t been as easy so we still do some shopping.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Steins have participated in other initiatives to help San Diego’s homeless population, including packing lunches.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities to give,” Stein said.

But options to help were more limited since last year with social distancing and other public health measures in place.

“It was kind of hard to do what we normally do, which is feed the homeless lunches downtown or do some things through church-related initiatives,” Stein said.

He added that so far this year, they have raised close to $12,000 and have given away 700 to 800 blankets. Last year, they raised $16,500, which they used to buy and deliver over 1,700 blankets.

“There’s a lot of compassion and generous hearts out there, and it puts a smile on our faces. It’s been nice to help out others during this holiday,” Stein said.

Matt and Mike Stein

“I don’t know what next year will hold,” Stein said. “Hopefully we can just keep continuing it year after year, but I do have another thing that’s targeting the elderly and retirement communities.”

His father is in a retirement community.

“It’s been in my heart,” he said.

One hundred percent of all donations made through uyc.org, when selecting “warm hug blanket drive,” support the cause and are tax deductible.