Realtors across the region are asking the public to round up their warm winter woollies for donation to help those in need in their communities.
The Realtors Care Blanket Drive – the longest-running and largest warm clothing and blanket drive in B.C. – starts Monday, Nov. 18 and will run until Nov. 25.
“This Blanket Drive started many years ago by helping the homeless in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Since then, even though this event has grown enormously, we’ve always kept the donations local,” said Tri-City realtor and Blanket Drive volunteer P.A. (Doc) Livingston.
“Donors can be sure their donations of blankets and warm clothing will stay in their community and will be given directly to those who need them most by charities in the area.”
This annual eight-day event collects enough gently used blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothing and jackets, in addition to new socks and underwear, to help protect about 20,000 vulnerable people in the region from the cold, wet winter.
Since 1995, the Blanket Drive has supported at least 200,000 people.
Of the 35 charities in the region that benefit from the Realtors Care Blanket Drive, NightShift Street Ministries in North Surrey is amongst those that receive a significant volume. Since 2004, it has received enough donations to help provide emergency warm clothing during the winter to the 100 clients it serves on average every night.
“The support helps us tremendously,” said MaryAnne Connor, NightShift founder and president. “We hand out the blankets, coats, gloves and new underwear and socks directly to our street family members from our mobile clothing truck. Extra clothing items that aren’t warm enough are distributed through our Sisters Thrift Boutique. Everything is accepted and greatly appreciated.”
Donations can be dropped off at any of the 100-plus participating real estate offices spread between Whistler and Hope. Realtors collect the donations, separate clothing from blankets, and deliver them to local charities.
To see a list of drop-off locations, charitable recipients and items most needed, go to:
Donations stay within the communities in which they are donated, or if the volumes are too large, go to charities in greatest need in neighbouring communities.