The York Rescue Mission is collecting blankets to help keep people warm during winter.

The mission's goal is to collect 6,000 new blankets to distribute to children, adults and families in need during its 13th annual blanket giveaway program, said Melinda Gorog, the mission's outreach director.

The blankets must be new and any size will do, she said.

The mission will start distributing blankets next month to people who attend its programs, Gorog said.

The main month-long distribution program begins Saturday, Dec. 7, when the mission will begin giving away blankets at the York Housing Authority, Broad Park Manor, White Rose Senior and Youth Development centers, local alternative schools, the York County Area Agency on Aging and the Parkway, Codorus and Wellington homes.

Those places and agencies will set up distribution times and volunteers will show up with the blankets, Gorog said.

Blanket distribution volunteers include community organizations, churches and individuals.

The mission expects to give away at least 1,500 blankets to children - from newborn to age 17 - during its annual Christmas Children's Party at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24, in Memorial Hall at the York Expo Center in West Manchester Township, Gorog said.

Last year, the mission distributed about 5,000 blankets.

Blankets are distributed through the end of December. Then remaining blankets are given to local agencies that assist people in need, Gorog said.

"We hope (blanket) recipients will be able to feel the compassion of those who care about them as they wrap themselves in their new blankets," the Rev. Paul Gorog, the mission's executive director said in a statement.

-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.