Coat Drive spreads warmth & our mission across the community

Living our mission of compassion and caring for others has translated into a warmer winter for hundreds in our community this year, good news given that the number of people in need of warm winter clothing seems to keep ramping up.

By the time the annual Hotel Dieu Hospital-St. Mary’s Cathedral Winter Coat Drive wrapped up January 18 the distribution centre at the St. Mary’s Parish Hall had handed out 2622 items—about 700 more than in 2017-2018—including 848 coats and 1774 accessories such as socks, mitts, hats, gloves, scarves, blanket and boots. 

In total, 964 people—compared to 702 in 2017-2018—visited the St. Mary’s distribution location, which operated for 38 days from mid-November to mid-January with only a short Christmas break.

“Fortunately, we a had a steady stream of donations this year,” says Elizabeth Bardon, VP Missions, Strategy & Communications, “and the community within and beyond KHSC generously responded when we put out some extra urgent calls for coats, especially in larger sizes.

“We’re also very grateful to staff across both our HDH and KGH sites for supporting our mission by donating not just coats but also hundreds of cozy socks to the Coat Drive. It was wonderful to see bags overflowing with socks presented at the Tree Lighting Ceremony at our HDH site.  That generosity means that many people, including those who are homeless or vulnerably housed, will have warmer and drier feet this winter.”

Elizabeth also thanked all the volunteers at the HDH site who sorted and organized donations, along with those at St. Mary’s Cathedral who ran the distribution centre, greeting each visitor with coffee and cookies, along with respect, dignity and a helpful attitude. 

“The annual Coat Drive is a project close to our hearts,” says Elizabeth.  “We’re so grateful that staff and community members rally to support those in need, especially those who might be out on our streets in bone-chilling weather this winter.”

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