Karen Conner of the Botetourt Funeral Home shows a coat ready to be sent to Sioux Reservations in North and South Dakota.
“Operation Warm Winter” is about to take off. Many Botetourt citizens have been working on the Roanoke Valley Baptist Association mission to Sioux reservations in North and South Dakota to serve the Native American communities there. For the last several summers a group of Botetourt youth and adults primarily from the Buchanan Area, have headed out to the reservation to teach Bible School and assist around the communities with projects.
At Botetourt Funeral Home, Ray and Bobbi Sloan and Karen Conner are collecting winter clothing for Operation Warm Winter. They have received new and gently worn coats, sweatshirts, hoodies, sweat pants and so forth, boots, coats and winter hand and foot gear for the mission trip. The trip kick-off on November 15 when a group of four drivers, Jerry Sweet, Harold Cook, Bubby Entsminger and Ray Sloan will head off with trailer and a Penske truck full of warm clothing. Clothing donations can be brought to the funeral which is located on Route 11 North near Exit 162 on the way to Buchanan. Call Sloan at 254-3000 or Cook at 254-1502 to make arrangements to deliver clothing. A $2 per coat donation would be appreciated for transportation costs they said.
Botetourt Funeral Home has large garage around back that houses work trucks for the. In the garage are shelves filled with boxes already packed with clothing and another stack waiting to be sorted and packed that is almost as tall as Karen Conner’s head when she picks up parkas and jackets to show the Botetourt View. The group will finish sorting and packing the clothing mid week November 11 and 12 before they take-off on the trip to deliver the boxes to five sites on the reservation.
The fact of the matter is they also need monetary donations to fund the trip. So far money has come in slower than clothing and they need to pay for gas, food and lodging on the trip across the United States both coming and going. To make a donation, earmark checks, “Operation Warm Winter.” The checks can be made payable to RVBA, 3926 Plantation Road, Roanoke, Virginia 24012. “Every little bit helps.” said Ray Sloan.