If your’e a fan of chili you wont want to miss Blankets of Hope’s annual Chef Tim’s “Take the Chill Off” event. Now in its third year the popular chili will be sold at 42 locations in Berks County and beyond.
For each $5 bowl of chili sold, a blanket will be donated to an individual in need through Blankets of Hope, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded by Marc J. Goldstein, providing fleece blankets to seniors receiving Meals on Wheels with Berks Encore, homeless shelters, cancer patients, veterans, children’s home residents, even animal shelters.
The third annual edition of the event is bigger than ever, up from 16 sales locations in its previous two years. In 2016, Blankets of Hope sold enough chili to donate 1,100 blankets. In 2017, that number was up to 1,450. This year, Goldstein would love to sell enough soup to reach 3,000 donated blankets.
The idea was born from a brief meeting between Goldstein and Chef Tim Twiford of Chef Tim’s Table fame at the Crowne Plaza Reading. Goldstein reached out to Twiford to see how they might partner to help Blanket of Hope’s mission. He recalls, “Within five minutes, Tim was telling me ‘I want to help blanket Berks County and we can do that by selling chili.’”
Combining delicious bowls of soup with an endearing cause has created a successful mission. This year, 1,500 pounds of beef have been pre-ordered. That will equate to 5,000 bowls of chili! Leftovers never go to waste. They are instead donated to Immanuel UCC, Shillington, and frozen for distribution to others in need, including at locations like New Journey Community Outreach, Inc., Reading.
Chili sales times vary by location. Participating locations include: Crowne Plaza Reading, Classic Harley-Davidson, 19 branches of Tompkins VIST Bank (pre-order available), Redner’s Warehouse Markets (all 10 Berks locations), YMCA of Reading & Berks County’s 5 branches, Mt. Penn Sports Cards, Queen City Family Restaurant, Benchwarmers Coffee & Doughnuts (where you can get your chili on a doughnut!), Ridgewood Winery, It’s All About You Salon & Spa, and Immanuel UCC in Shillington.