Organizers credited areas businesses, churches and schools with actively soliciting donations of old clothing, as well as the aid organizations which distributed items to those in need.
"We had a lot of help from the interfaith community this year," said WHWH executive director Russ West. "They really stepped up."
The organization collected 1,000 articles of clothing more than last year, thanks to active participation from many in the community.
"We are so very pleased at the volume of donations and the number of places where they were collected this year," said Melinda Bussino, executive director of the Brattleboro Area Drop In Center, which distributed much of the clothing.
"We want to pass on the thanks of all the local people who are warmer and drier this winter due to Warm Hands Warm Heart. What a wonderful community we live in."
West and WHWH chairman Robert Fagge said that thanks to the project's success in Windham County, they hope now to export the idea to other parts of Vermont and neighboring New Hampshire.
"We're looking at pushing this along," Fagge said. "If we can engender enough activity, we can go to other communities."
Even if the scope of the project expands, they hope to keep a local focus, so that
"We're trying to keep what's given in a community in the community," West said. "Springfield should be doing this. We don't need to truck it up from Brattleboro."
They say that while many churches and other organizations sponsor food and clothing drives of one sort or another, they feel their model is especially effective and can bring together all of a community's efforts.
"We're hoping we can sell this like a franchise to other people," Fagge said.
"But we're not looking for ownership. We're looking for it to happen," West added.
Paul Heintz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.