November 28, 2011
THE LOWER MAINLAND’S LONGEST RUNNING BLANKET DRIVE STARTS TODAY
Annual event collects thousands of items for those in need
VANCOUVER – The 17th annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive begins today and will run until Monday, December 5. Hundreds of real estate offices from Whistler to Chilliwack turn into donation depots for eight days as REALTORS® collect, sort and deliver donations of warm, winter clothing and blankets for distribution to dozens of local charities.
After more than five years as a Blanket Drive volunteer, Squamish REALTOR® Debbie Anderson has learned what items can have the greatest impact.
“Of course anything warm or water proof, but also things that people might not think to donate, like men’s leather belts. It’s not uncommon to see homeless folks using rope to keep their pants up. We forget they are typically a lot slimmer than we are, so size 32 or smaller belts can be really useful.”
As well as blankets, other in-demand items include new socks and underwear, jeans, sweat pants, hoodies and winter outerwear.
REALTOR® Rycarda Smith, another veteran Blanket Driver in White Rock and South Surrey says she’s observed a real change in how the public responds to the Blanket Drive.
“After so many years, we have repeat supporters who understand that this isn’t a general clothing collection. This is a focused event to collect essential items to assist our most vulnerable citizens during the coldest, wettest time of year.
“If those donating could see the relief and appreciation we do, it’s incredibly humbling.”
Blanket Drive video blog
The Blanket Drive is more than collecting blankets. It involves partnering with business, schools and the Vancouver Police Department to help gather and distribute donations; and sorting donated items so charities receive what they need.
For the first time, a video blog has been created to highlight these parts and others for an inside look at this annual drive.
To view the video blog and find drop-off locations for donations: