Last year Coats for Kids collected and distributed 3,500 coats to children and families in Greater Victoria.
This year, the program was cancelled until a group of concerned community members, unaffiliated with any charity or non-profit organization, took it upon themselves to fill the void.
“(The cancellation) left a gap in access to warm coats for many families, and particularly children, who would normally get up to 120 coats donated through their school, or a community centre,” said Rose Henry, who is helping with this year’s collection.
“Beyond the generous giving at this time of year, a coat is one of the basic needs for people and without this program it will increase the need on the existing community services, like the food bank,” she said.
“We’ve heard from other community services that clothing donations have dropped over the last several months.”
The group is asking for donations of coats, gloves, hats, shoes, socks or any winter or waterproof gear which will be distributed to those in need.
“Our target for this campaign is to exceed the 3,500 coats donated last year and bring awareness of this much needed program to continue no matter what happens,” Henry said.
New or used items can be dropped off at the Victoria Anti-Violence Project at the University of Victoria, building B027; Hip Baby Clothing, 104A-560 Johnson St.; and in the carport at 222 Langford St. or at the Blanshard Community Centre, 901 Kings Rd.
For more information contact 3500COATS@groups.facebook.com.