Region’s largest, longest-running charitable blanket and warm clothing collection begins November 26, 2012.
VANCOUVER – It’s that time of year again – time to ‘winter’ clean your closets for items to keep someone warm and dry. The 18th annual REALTORS® Care Blanket Drive will run from November 26 to December 3 across the Lower Mainland. 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 our region from the cold, wet winter.
"The REALTORS® Care Blanket Drive is a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” says long-time volunteer Tammy Evans with RE/MAX Treeland in Langley.
“When you have hundreds of people donating even just a few quality items it doesn’t take long to add up. After 18 years, our supporters know what we’re looking for and appreciate how important their donations are to the thousands of people they’re helping. For someone living on the street a sleeping bag and warm winter coat can literally be a lifesaver.”
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. MaryAnne Connor is NightShift’s founder and president.
“Your support helps us tremendously. 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.”
Special REALTORS® Care Blanket Drive donation bags are available at any of the 100 plus participating real estate offices spread between Whistler and Hope or feel free to use your own. Local REALTORS® pick up your donations, separate clothing from blankets and deliver them to the 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. Since 1995, the Blanket Drive has supported at least 185,000 people.