A youth-led charity group is asking North Delta residents to clean out their closets this weekend in support of area shelters.
Uplift Canada Foundation, a registered non-profit organization that up-cycles donated clothing and directly relocates them to local shelters, is holding a clothing drive in the North Delta area on Saturday, Sept. 25. The entire event in non-contact and COVID-safe, with residents asked to leave items bagged and outside on their doorsteps for Uplift’s volunteers to pick up.
After consulting with staff from various B.C.-based shelters, the organization has chosen to practice “intentional giving,” meaning each month it collects only items requested by shelter residents.
For the North Delta drive, Uplift Canada is looking for women’s blouses, dresses, leggings and shoes/boots (sizes 7-10), and men’s sweaters, t-shirts, pants/sweatpants and shoes (sizes 7-12). The items will then be distributed to the Elizabeth Fry Society, The Nest, Surrey Urban Mission, Al Mitchell Place and Phoenix Society.
In addition to helping those in need, Uplift Canada also aims to divert textiles that would otherwise end up in landfills — on average 37 kilograms (about 81.5 pounds) per person in Canada every year and an estimated 10.5 million tonnes annually across North America, according to statistics compiled by Waste Reduction Week in Canada.
“We are an all-encompassing NGO because we work to alleviate environmental and social justice inequalities in a way that benefits both the giver and the receiver,” reads a press release promoting Saturday’s pick-up event.
“By up-cycling clothing donations and ultimately supporting the circular economy, Uplift Canada is alleviating the environmental damage being caused by clothing waste in landfills, and instead repurposing these items into a usable resource to those in need.”
Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque, a third-year pre-law student at McGill University, in January 2021.
“What inspired me to start The Uplift Canada Foundation was a trip to a local waste management facility (the dump) in British Columbia. Not only was it an environmentally disheartening place to visit, but I witnessed, first hand, the sheer amount of clothing waste that is prevalent in my own backyard,” Larocque said in an emailed statement to the Reporter.
“I simply couldn’t believe my eyes, witnessing the piles and piles of perfectly good clothing that was simply going to waste. Something had to be done. Hence, The Uplift Canada Foundation.”
The organization has hosted monthly clothing pickups on the last Saturday of each month, collecting donations in Tsawwassen, Ladner, Surrey, White Rock, Coquitlam, New Westminster and Burnaby.
To register for this weekend’s clothing drive, visit upliftcanadafoundation.org.
— with files from Tracy Holmes