This photo of neatly folded and laundered blankets left on a park bench became the most popular story ever posted by the Good News Network in its 5 years on Facebook. The story brought poignancy to the touching photo, yet only three sentences were necessary to attract a quarter million “Likes” and 8,900 comments.
The woman who snapped the photo, wrote the story: “Yesterday this pile of blankets was all over the ground filthy, partially wet and frozen having been slept in the night before. I saw a D.C. city worker putting the stuff into what looked like a trash bag. Then this morning I walk by the same spot and see the blankets had been washed and folded… Made me smile”.
The woman was Danika Oriol-Morway, a 29-year-old graduate student from Cambridge, Mass., according to the Huffington Post. She thought the blankets, on the ground in McPherson Square in Washington, DC, were being thrown away, but instead they were being laundered.
Several Washingtonians replied to the Facebook post, saying the city has a program for homeless folks that will deliver blankets to people who aren’t in shelters. They also pick them up, launder and return them to several locations around the city.
Among the thousands of positive comments about D.C. were stories about good being done in other areas of the United States.
Janet Roe replied that a group in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania collects discarded blankets and clothes and makes sleeping bags out of them. “They are taken into Philly and NYC, and the people are so grateful for them.”
“Kudos to my Dry Cleaners for washing laundry for shelters and other charities free of charge!!” wrote Stephen McPhee. “A small gesture but big for many in need.”
Another inspiring comment was written by Lyn Turner: “I just donated all my plastic grocery bags to someone who makes waterproof mats for the homeless – GREAT IDEA.”