On those sunny fall days, few might think about people in our community having insufficient winter woolies to stay warm outdoors during the colder weather.
But in Langley, there are a number of local realtors, the team at the Urban Barn, and countless home builders who are rallying to ensure kids have coats and homeless have blankets.
Urban Barn, a retail home furnishing and decor company with a store on 202nd Street (next to Best Buy), has already kicked off its fifth annual blanket campaign.
Between now and Nov. 20, they collect $5 donations in store that buy new, fleece blankets for the Gateway of Hope.
The goal, here in Langley, is to raise enough money for 450 blankets.
Store shift leader Alleya Hynninen said the team is already a quarter of the way there, and if there is any money left once that goal is reached, that too will go to the Gateway of Hope.
Hynninen invites locals to “Share the Warmth” this winter.
Urban Barn’s goal is to donate 15,000 blankets across the country so, as temperatures drop and the holiday season approaches, said company president Linda Letts.
And new to the effort this year, customers are being encouraged to share emotional warmth by sending a personal message through BlankettheCountry.com,
These personal messages will be published in a booklet and delivered with the blankets to the shelters during the holiday season, Letts explained.
“We wanted to create a direct connection between those donating blankets and those receiving them. That’s where the idea for Warmer Wishes came from,” she said.
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Builders hold coat drive
Home builders are showing they care, by running the 21st annual Coast for Kids drive soon.
The Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association (GVHBA) is launching its drive that supports the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau – and consequently the Langley Christmas Bureau.
The Coats for Kids donation campaign runs Nov. 14 to Dec. 1, and if last year’s numbers are any indication they’re hoping to collect in the neighbourhood of 3,600 items to help keep families in need warm this winter, said GVHBA chair Darren Cranston of Polygon Homes.
Scarves, gloves, blankets, and even new, unwrapped toys and gifts are being collected for children of all ages.
Speaking with the Christmas Bureaus, drive organizers say the greatest need is coats and jackets for tweens and teens – ages 12 to 18 years old – who are often reluctant to wear coats, hoodies are very popular with this group.
“This year in particular, we are seeing more demand with the increase in refugees, and migration of workers and their families from Alberta, noting all those in need provide income statements and proof of residency,” added Chris Bayliss of the Vancouver Christmas Bureau.
In Langley, donations can be dropped at Centra Construction Group, 20216 98th Ave. Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Country Lumber, 22538 Fraser Hwy., Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Infinity Properties Ltd., at #205 6360 202nd St., Mondays to Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; The Belmont at Heritage’ Home Store, 22084 Fraser Hwy., Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m.; and Hilti Canada, #400-19630 Langley Bypass, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Information is available at 778-565-4288, or email Katrina@gvhba.org.
Realtors collect blankets
There are 11 real estate offices in Langley being set up as drop-off spots for an upcoming blanket drive.
They’re going to be part of the 22nd annual Realtors Care drive in mid-November, where local realtors are collecting warm clothing and blankets that, in turn, will be redistributed to people in need in this community.
Each year, this program helps approximately 20,000 Lower Mainland residents keep warm over the winter, said Dan Morrison, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver.
“There are people in every community in our region who rely on these donations to help them through the winter,” Morrison said.
In the largest and longest running blanket drive, they will be collecting gently used or new blankets or sleeping bags, warm clothing, coats, hats, gloves, scarves, as well as new socks and underwear.
“The need is strong and we need the public’s help and generosity again this year,” he said.
The drive runs running from Nov. 14 to 21, and local drop-off spots include:
• RE/MAX Aldercenter Realty, 26641 Fraser Hwy.
• RE/MAX Little Oak Realty, 9148 Glover Rd.
• HomeLife Benchmark Realty, 6323 197th St.
• Macdonald Realty, 22424 Fraser Hwy.
• Prudential-Power Play Realty, 20585 Fraser Hwy.
• RE/MAX Treeland Realty, #101-6337 198th St.
• Royal LePage Wolstencroft, 110-19925 Willowbrook Dr.
• Sutton Group-West Coast, 156-19653 Willowbrook Dr.
• HomeLife Benchmark, 201-20999 88th Ave.
• RE/MAX Lifestyles Realty, 8-8880 202nd St.
• HomeLife Benchmark Cloverdale, 103-5830 176A St.
More info: www.blanketdrive.ca.