Tents line Pandora Avenue near Our Place Society on March 25 in downtown Victoria. (Arnold Lim/Black Press Media)

Greater Victoria charities organize physically distanced tent, sleeping bag drive

Neighbourhood Response Team accepts sleeping bags, mats and tents Saturday in Victoria

Anyone looking to donate gently used tents, sleeping bags or sleeping mats for Greater Victoria’s vulnerable population can do so safely this weekend thanks to a group of local charitable organizers.

The Neighbourhood Response Team, powered by United Way Greater Victoria in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and the HeroWork Society, hosts a safe social distancing collection drive on Saturday, April 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard St.

The drive will follow specific protocols to allow for physical distancing as required by the provincial health officer during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria raises $1M in 36 hours for those in need

The need is for gently used tents, non-flammable tarps, sleeping bags and sleeping mats to help the homeless self-isolate during the ongoing pandemic. They cannot accept pillows, sheets, blankets or other household items.

While they ask for clean items, there’s no need to bag the camping gear, just toss it in the trunk then head for the parking lot off Pembroke Street between Quadra and Blanshard streets. Follow the directions of traffic volunteers who will direct drivers where to stop, and stay in the vehicle. Volunteers will unload donations from the trunk. Traffic volunteers will guide drivers out of the parking lot.

Pedestrians and cyclists will have a designated drop zone on Quadra Street near the entrance to the Victoria Curling Club.

There are some socially responsible rules. Only attend if you are feeling healthy and respect social distancing and volunteer instructions. If possible, combine the drop off with other errands to limit time out in the community and away from home.

At the end of the day, donations will be stored securely in a truck that will be quarantined for 72 hours before materials are distributed to people in need. Distribution will be coordinated by the Dandelion Society and the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness.

RELATED: Tents, sleeping bags donated to Our Place from local Victoria store

The service comes from a trio of social service giants in Greater Victoria. The United Way of Greater Victoria, one of the region’s largest annual funders of local social service programs, uses a collaborative approach bringing organizations together to build stronger, more resilient communities.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria has spent four decades providing mentors for children and youth through programs in response to identified social issues impacting specific communities.

HeroWork engages more than 150 companies and 900 volunteers each year participating in comprehensive renovations that are completed in a fraction of the normal time and costs for vital causes.

Providing this kind of not-for-profit sector support is possible through United Way Greater Victoria’s Local Love in a Global Crisis Fund. This fund targets four areas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: providing additional help to isolated seniors; augmenting mental health support services; helping the social service sector prioritize and deliver urgent needs; and providing hotel accommodation for frontline service workers.



c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cannabis responsible for higher incomes among Canadian farmers

Without cannabis sales, national crop revenues would have dropped in 2019

VicPD investigating three suspicious dumpster fires

Police ask people to secure waste bins and report suspicious activity

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Camosun College shares free design of medical-grade face masks

Manufacturers across Canada, United States and UK have inquired

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C. woman launches First Nations search, rescue and patrol program

Linda Peters envisions trained searchers ready to go at moment’s notice in each B.C. First Nation

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read