JACKSON — The Parrotheads of the Savannah River kicked off the new year by reminding themselves that not everyone has the means to stay warm this winter.
Six Parrotheads took a quick dip in a numbingly-cold pool Monday in their annual Polar Bear Plunge to celebrate the winter clothing drive they have organized for the past 11 years.
“You get to the bottom and think, 'Why did I do this again?'” said Joe Moore.
Teeth chattered as the Parrotheads climbed out the pool and quickly wrapped themselves in towels next to a table piled with layers of coats, sweaters and blankets.
“We get cold so they can stay warm,” said Becky McDaniel, who hosted the Polar Bear Plunge at her house.
Club members pull winter wear from their closets, pick up items at garage and yard sales and ask family and friends to give. All items are then donated to the Salvation Army.
Karl Keene said the Salvation Army gives the clothing away; none of it is sold.
“My daughter has three kids, so I brought the stuff they've outgrown,” said club member Becky Worthy.
Last year, the Parrotheads of the Savannah River donated over 70 items to the Salvation Army just before a cold snap hit. Each item had been given away three days later.
The Parrotheads also organize a school supply drive for Children's Place, contribute to Make-A-Wish and answer the phones every year for the Children's Miracle Network.
“We do a good bit, but it's always fun. It doesn't even seem like fundraisers or work,” Keene said.