Dan Deyette with the new trailer recently given to the Free Clothing BC society for its regular deliveries of goods to the homeless and disadvantaged in the Fraser Valley.

Volunteers keep the needy warm and clean

A group of volunteers in Aldergrove and Surrey are making sure that the homeless and disadvantaged have clean clothing at no charge.

A small group of volunteers in Aldergrove and Surrey are making sure that the homeless and disadvantaged in the Fraser Valley have warm and clean clothing provided at no charge.

Free Clothing BC has been delivering the clothes and personal health items to at least 2,000 people over the past three years it’s been in existence.

Dan and Charmaine Deyette of Aldergrove and Tanya McLean of Surrey first met while serving as volunteers with another organization. They decided to start their own organization in February of 2012, with the goal of providing only new, or clean used, clothing items to those in need.

“We launder every single used item that we give out and we store them in standard storage boxes in heated, rented mini-storage lockers in Surrey and Aldergrove,” says Dan.

“It’s safer and that way there’s no chance of vermin getting into the goods. We feel better about doing it this way than using ‘free’ sheds for storing everything.”

The organization hosts regular events at schools and churches where the public is invited to come in and choose what they may need. These events are publicized through social media such as Facebook, as well as posters at the food banks, Job Zone offices, shelters and so on.

They also do regular deliveries of goods to persons in need at shelters such as Abbotsford’s Warm Zone for women, the 5 and 2 Ministry at the homeless camp at Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park and the Aboriginal Friendship Centre and the Hub Society in Surrey.

“I used to walk around the homeless camp and hand out clothing but the 5 and 2 Ministry pastor knows who needs what and gives it out when they serve dinners every night.

“We drop off ‘premie’ clothes at Abbotsford Regional Hospital, because that’s the most effective way to get these goods into the mothers’ hands,” said Dan.

“We give out diapers, formula, soaps and shampoos, along with only new socks and underwear.

“We also take on individual cases such as the Aldergrove family who just lost their wife and mother, she was only 35, to a heart condition — they needed some help.”

Donors, whether they be individuals, organizations or businesses, drop off new and used goods to the Deyette and McLean family homes or to the mini-storage units. Donors can also arrange pickup of goods by calling 604-512-4116 or emailing tanya@freeclothingbc.com for Surrey and Delta pickups or charmaine@freeclothingbc.com for Langley, Aldergrove and Abbotsford pickups.

“Jack Dhaliwal of Aldergrove Mini Storage has been hugely supportive of our program from the start, and with a recent donation from Fraser Point Church we were able to rent another storage unit in Surrey on King George Highway. So we now have two locations for our bases.”

The Fraser Point Church, led by pastor Bill Hamilton at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley, has been particularly supportive of Free Clothing BC by providing donations totaling $7,300 over the past two years.

These funds enabled the organization to legally incorporate as the Fraser Valley Free Clothing Society, as well as purchase a much-needed enclosed trailer to transport the goods, with money left over to purchase new items such as the socks and underwear.

“We process two and a half truckloads of goods a week and the trailer has been a real blessing. Our children are big helpers but once we’re all in our mini-van there is not much room left over for the clothing boxes and renting a big truck got pricey real fast,” said Dan.

“With the trailer we can now easily carry all the contents of a mini-storage unit to the events.”

Information on the program is on the website: http://www.freeclothingbc.com/ or phone 604-512-4116. Their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/FreeClothing/?fref=ts

Just Posted

Surrey Mountie won’t face charges for scooter scuffle

The Surrey-based IIO has decided not to forward the case to Crown counsel for review

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Pedestrian seriously injured in Surrey traffic crash

A 54-year-old man was hit by a car early Thursday evening while crossing Highway 10 at 152nd Street

VIDEO: Nature provides practice space for North Delta musician

Terry Lee has become a fixture over the years playing his cornet in and near the Delta Nature Reserve

UPDATE: Surrey RCMP say body found after fire at Whalley homeless camp

Police say the body was found inside a shed after firefighters extinguished a blaze

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Burnaby facility to dispose of 1,500 tonnes of Canada’s trash from Philippines

All 103 containers will be disposed of properly within Canada before the end of the summer

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

RCMP probe hit-and-run of Richmond senior

The man, who is in his mid-70s, was walking with his wife when he was allegedly struck

Most Read