A local real-estate agent is urging people to put themselves in the shoes of those less fortunate this holiday season and give as much as they can to the Realtors Care Blanket Drive.
Karen Conyers, who is team leader for the Surrey and White Rock area, said that this year organizers are hoping to bring the items – including blankets, warm clothing and shoes – to those who need it as soon as possible.
“I just put myself in their shoes or try to. I was out walking my dogs this morning and I could not imagine being out there in the middle of the night without shelter and not having a coat,” she said.
“I think if people were more willing to imagine themselves, or if they can’t imagine themselves, their children or a niece or a nephew or somebody that they know and care about being on the streets without anything. And it might help to bring it home a little bit.”
Items donated this year will go towards the South Fraser Women’s Services Society and Sources Community Resources Centre, as well as NightShift Ministries, located on King George Boulevard and 106 Avenue.
Specific items needed include women’s coats, toques, gloves and boots, as well as men’s coats and men’s pants in smaller sizes, as many of the men on the streets are quite thin, Conyers noted.
“Coats sound like the biggest need,” she said. “And boots are always good, as well.”
She added that while numerous people living on the street benefit from the drive, there are others who are in desperate need of clothing.
“This drive helps women in transition, ones who have left a very difficult situation at home and are going through a transition,” she said. “They’ve left with what they could carry.
“This is a need. And the appreciation goes beyond words. There is no way you can define what it means to people who have nothing and are literally scraping by to just get enough food in their bellies, to have something that will keep them warm.”
The blanket drive, now in its 19th year, is the largest and longest running in B.C., helping thousands in need from Whistler to Hope.
Items can be dropped off at various real estate offices throughout the Lower Mainland until Nov. 25.
For a full list of locations, visit www.blanketdrive.ca