More need to Share the Warmth this winter

·2 min read

Winter is coming and SIRCH Community Services is readying itself to meet greater demand for its Share the Warmth campaign to provide warm clothing for families in need.

The fifth annual campaign provides winter clothing, including coats, hats, gloves, boots, socks and more for free to residents. The donation drive runs Nov. 1 to Nov. 12, with pick-up day Nov. 14. SIRCH increasing connectivity co-ordinator Rebecca Anderson said the campaign remains extremely important.

They handed out 337 coats last year and with the pandemic, Anderson said they expect that demand to increase.

“It’s important because winter outerwear is extremely expensive and it’s also a basic need with rural living,” Anderson said. “COVID not only exacerbates the existing vulnerabilities that were in our community last year, but it also creates new vulnerabilities.”

In a press release, SIRCH asked that donations be clean with no rips, tears, stains or smells. Due to COVID-19 protocols, all donations must be cleaned by the donor beforehand. Drop off locations include Haliburton Foodland, Todd’s Independent, Algonquin Outfitters, Dollo’s Foodland, Easton’s Valu-Mart and St. Paul’s Anglican Church. In previous years, Anderson said they have been able to give everything they received away. But she added she is not worried about getting enough donations to meet the growing demand.

“We have a generous community,” Anderson said. “I’m always awestruck with how generous our community members are. Getting enough is definitely on our mind, but it’s not a concern.”

Pick-up days are Nov. 14, at St. Paul’s Anglican Church from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and at the SIRCH main office in Haliburton from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Anderson said people cannot try on clothing due to COVID. SIRCH will require masks and maintaining social distancing.

For more information contact SIRCH at 705-457-1742 or email Rebecca_ anderson@sirch.on.ca.

“Thank you to every single community member who donates,” Anderson said. “Thank you for helping our neighbours stay warm this winter.”

Joseph Quigley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Highlander