Volunteers across the Boundary are collecting winter gear ahead of the 25th annual Coats for Kids giveaway, to kick off next month at Grand Forks’ Youth With a Mission (YWAM) centre.
Everything from coats and scarves to mittens and boots will be given freely “to anyone who needs it,” according to Sharon Marshall, who started the initiative out of her city real estate brokerage in the mid-1990s. Marshall, who sold her firm to realtor Flec Demmon in 2018, said they’re putting on this year’s giveaway roughly one month earlier than last year’s, owing to colder than normal temperatures in the coming weeks.
“We’d like to give the coats and everything else away after Remembrance Day, so that people don’t freeze to death before Christmas,” Marshall said. “Let’s make this the best year ever,” she continued, noting that last year’s drive put sturdy coats on the backs of around 400 deserving people, many of whom she said were children.
Donors are asked to drop off warm clothing at Demmon’s Discover Border Country Realty office at 347 Market Ave during regular business hours from now until Nov. 11. Coats, jackets, scarves, toques, socks and boots will be available for pick-up at the YWAM centre at 7525 4th St. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thanking Demmon for his continued support, she then thanked volunteers Joyce O’Doherty, Cathy Straume and Louise Heck, who help advertise the event and distribute coats throughout the entire Boundary every year.
Marshall then said she would personally collect donations anywhere between Christina Lake and Rock Creek, inviting people to make arrangements over the phone at 250-442-6396.