What started as a compassionate offer of simple warmth to those living on the streets in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside is now the largest, longest-running charitable blanket and warm clothing collection in the region.
Since 1995, more than 165,000 people have received clothing or a blanket from the annual Realtors Care Blanket Drive.
The 17th annual drive, locally helped by the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, will run until Dec. 5 across the Lower Mainland.
Hundreds of real estate offices will act as drop-off depots and dozens of realtors will pick up, sort and deliver the donations.
In Surrey, one of the key Blanket Drive recipients is NightShift Street Ministries.
The eight-day blanket drive, which runs in every community from Whistler to Chilliwack, collects on average 4,300 bags of gently used blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothing and coats, in addition to new socks and underwear for men, women and children.
Donations to the Realtors Care Blanket Drive 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.
For a list of drop-off locations and charitable recipients, visit www.blanketdrive.ca or www.facebook.com/blanketdrive