With this year’s unusually warm fall coming to an end, the 2022 Coats For All Campaign is gearing up for another winter.
Chairperson Annie McKave, who has helped organize the fundraiser since it started in the mid-2000s, said that she is once again calling on the generosity of 100 Mile House. She is asking the community to donate new or lightly used coats, snowsuits, toques, gloves and scarves to the 100 Mile Laundromat throughout November.
“It’s not unusual for people to arrive in this area without suitable winter clothing or clothing that’s worn out or been outgrown. Often items that are no longer useful to you can become a blessing to someone who can’t afford to buy what they need,” McKave said. “The gist of the program is to get these gently used items out to people in need.”
McKave said once the winter wear is cleaned it is distributed to several local groups where they can be picked up from Nov. 5 to Nov. 30. This includes Loaves and Fishes, the 100 Mile Food Bank, the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre, Canadian Mental Health, the Stemete7uw’i Friendship Centre and the Canim Lake and Canoe Creek Bands’ offices.
As a change this year McKave intends to offer three extra opportunities for people to pick up winter clothing. On Nov. 12, 19 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. warm winter outwear will be available at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, on the corner of Blackstock Road and Horse Lake Road.
With the price of groceries and gas high at the moment, McKave said vulnerable people will need all the support they can get this winter. Even as the need increases, she said the support they receive from the community rises to meet that demand.
“We probably give out around 400 to 500 items that go out into our community every year,” McKave said. “The success of the program is due to the generosity of the people in our community. I find it a very worthwhile project and I have people calling me, come fall, to find out if the program is going to continue.”