PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Bob Dalton had a personal reason for starting a blanket company he named Sackcloth and Ashes in 2014.

Bob Dalton, the founder of the blanket company Sackcloth and Ashes, December 2020 (KOIN)

“I was someone who would constantly drive by folks on the street and have a bias and judgement toward them and had little to no compassion for them, until my mother ended up in a difficult situation similar to that,” Dalton told KOIN 6 News. So through her story and her journey it actually inspired me to do something about the issue and I started calling my local homeless shelters to see what they needed. And they all said blankets.”

He said the company has a “buy one, donate one” model. Dalton set a goal to donate 1 million blankets to shelters across America in 10 years. Right now they’ve donated about 200,000.

And this holiday season Sackcloth and Ashes teamed with Zupan’s to make sure at least 1000 blankets go to local homeless shelters, specifically the Blanchet House and Mercy Teams.

“The consumer gets a great blanket for a reasonable price, a high quality blanket, and then with every blanket purchased, a blanket is donated to a local shelter,” said Mike Zupan.

Sackcloth and Ashes blankets (Courtesy photo)

The blankets at Zupan’s come in a box with a note encouraging customers to fill up the box with hygienic goods.

“You can fill these up with soaps and shampoos, toothbrushes, socks and so forth,” Zupan said. “Bring those back to the store and then we take them to the shelters and the shelter gets some other donations.”

The blankets are $99 and are washable. They’re available at one of the 3 Zupan’s locations or on the Sackcloth and Ashes website.

For Bob Dalton, this has come full circle. His mom is now 2 years sober and works for the Portland Rescue Mission. She also speaks at some of the blanket donation events.

“I believe her journey is really just beginning,” Dalton said. “She’s inspiring so many people with having to go through such a difficult journey but end up fighting to get back to a good place in her life.”