19th annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive collection will run Nov. 18-25
VANCOUVER –Chances are high that many of the 1,600 homeless people currently living in Vancouver; 400 in Surrey, and 200 in Abbotsford have received a blanket, coat or multiple changes of clothing supplied through the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive.
Although the annual Blanket Drive is now so successful it assists thousands of underprivileged in our region by equipping dozens of charities and community service organizations, the original goal of direct distribution to those most in need remains at the heart.
“What our Blanket Drive does is provide the first line of defence for our most vulnerable citizens living outside,” says Vancouver REALTOR® and volunteer Louise Boutin. “Many of our recipient charities distribute what we collect right on the streets and regularly see repeat clients coming back for a change of clothes or a sleeping bag to protect them from the rain, cold and concrete.”
Donna Crocker, a volunteer veteran of the Blanket Drive in North Delta and coordinator of Friendship Providers in Action adds, “I wish that the thousands of individuals, businesses, corporations and REALTORS® who donate every year could see the gratitude that we see.
“Smiles, hugs, high-fives and sometimes tears of relief because that clean pair of jeans or even a simple pair of gloves can make the difference between sleeping safely and comfortably or being cold and at risk. Most of all, they feel loved and appreciated.”
The REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive – the largest and longest-running in BC – is now scheduled one week earlier in the year to help as many people as possible in advance of the holidays. The dates this year are from November 18 to 25 when REALTORS® will collect and deliver enough blankets and warm clothing to 39 charities between Whistler and Hope to help 20,000 people this year .
“What we’re looking for most is gently-used blankets, coats, gloves, hats, jeans, hoodies and new underwear and socks for both men and women; and whenever possible, smaller waist sizes,” explains Chilliwack Drive volunteer Kellee Romaine. “Thank you so much for your support.”
Special REALTORS® Care Blanket Drive donation bags are available at any of the 100 plus participating real estate offices acting as drop-off locations. To find an office nearest you, a list of charitable recipients and see videos of the Drive in action:
Donations stay within the communities in which they are donated, or if the volumes are too large, go to charities in greatest need in neighbouring communities. Since 1995, the Blanket Drive has supported at least 200,000 people.