'No one should have to go commando'

Over 600 pairs of fresh underwear are available for those in need thanks to the efforts of local students.

The items were collected in a drive held by Collège Boréal and the donations were dropped off at Living Space on Tuesday afternoon.

Most of the underwear were men’s, which is one of the most needed items, said Living Space engagement and education coordinator Lisa Tremblay.

“This is actually really nice to see a high volume of men’s underwear, and there’s a wide variety too,” said Tremblay.

The underwear drive struck her as a great way to catch people’s attention and get the community involved.

“This was such a success and it was such a great idea,” she said. “Michel’s pitch was ‘no one should have to go commando', and that’s just brilliant.”

Michel Mainville is a Collège Boréal professor and co-ordinates its humanitarian project. He said the students did an amazing job during the drive, which also included students from École secondaire catholique Thériault and École publique Renaissance.

“They did a phenomenal job collecting the underwear,” he said.

The underwear will be given out as part of the services Living Space provides.

“For every client that we have, they have access to services, and one of the services is showers, so instead of them going without or wearing dirty underwear, this will allow them to feel a little cleaner and a lot more comfortable," said Tremblay.

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The total value of the donation from Collège Boréal is around $3,000 dollars.

“The total is based on an average price, which is around $15 to $20 a pack,” he said. “Underwear is expensive!”

Tremblay said that the support from the community allows Living Space to continue to do the work they do for those in need of their help.

“There is no funding to help buy underwear for our clients, so by having businesses or groups of people come together to do drives of items that can be used, it makes it that much more amazing,” said Tremblay.

She said that solving community issues, like homelessness, has to be a group effort.

“At the end of the day, homelessness is a community issue and the more that we can come together, the greater the outcome will be,” she said. “They’re still human beings, so it’s just a matter of how can we come together and actually help an individual move forward.”

Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com