Donations increase during Tucson's cold spell

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Donations increase during Tucson's cold spell

CREATED Jan 13, 2013

Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - When Juliana Perez, 33, and her one-year-old son, King, moved to Tucson a few weeks ago, they didn't expect to be using their jackets.

"Actually really cold out there, (I'm) from California," she said.

Perez is just one of more than 70 people seeking warmth and shelter at the Gospel Rescue Mission Women and Children's Center.

"Very tough, especially as a single mother at that, very tough not knowing where we're going to go the next day, or if we are going to have a warm blanket, or is my son going to be warm at night," she said.

And she's not alone, Roy Tullgren, executive director of the mission says it's been packed since the freeze started.

"When it's cold like this, we get a lot more calls people dropping by needing a room -- problem we have is we're full at capacity at men's center, sleeping 137 on floor beds, at women's center serving 73 women and children," he said.

But with it, he says, comes an outpouring of support from the community.

Strangers stopped by throughout the day to donate clothes.
"Unbelievable, all day long people are bringing... I didn't realize how many people over the weekend." he said.

Second Saturdays in downtown Tucson also held a blanket drive at their event.