Cold means demand up for winter wear donations

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Downtown Edmonton’s Mustard Seed and the Bissell Centre are working together to help people on the streets keep their fingers and toes warm. The two agencies have embarked on a joint drive to collect winter gloves and boots.

“When temperatures drop, the needs of our community begin to rise,” said Dean Kurpjuweit, managing director of The Mustard Seed. “Given their circumstances, many of our participants face exposure to the elements. Without warm homes to take shelter in, items like gloves and boots become absolutely essential in protecting community members, and their extremities, from our city’s harsh winter conditions.”

Both organizations have reported critically low stocks of these items due to high demand in the wake of the recent cold snap. Even though they have received many donations of warm clothing recently, everything that comes in is almost automatically spoken for. Winter gloves and boots are also the least donated items.

“Hundreds of people come to us every day looking for help during the winter, most of them without gloves or proper footwear, leaving them susceptible to frostbite and other damaging effects due to overexposure,” said Liza Sunley, chief programs officer at the Bissell Centre. “It’s not uncommon to see people with missing fingers or toes because of the lack of winter gloves and boots in the inner city.”

Donations can be made during regular business hours at The Mustard Seed Personal Assistance Centre (10568 114 St.) and at the Bissell Centre’s three locations including its Thrift Shoppe (8818 118 Ave.). Visit www.theseed.ca or www.bissellcentre.org for more info.

Last auctions for Hunter’s

The first round of the online auction is on but ends soon. It’s the first of the two-part auction to wrap up the 10-year fundraising work of the Hunter’s Fight for a Cure Foundation, a local charity started out of one mother’s efforts to help her young son deal with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a blood disorder that requires him to get regular blood transfusions and daily chelation therapy.

People can bid on dozens of items, the proceeds of which will go to support the Stollery Children’s Health Centre. Bidding ends at 9 p.m. tonight. The auction can be found by searching for ‘Hunter’s Fight for a Cure Foundation of Alberta’ on Facebook. The second and final online auction will commence on Saturday.

Speaking of blood transfusions …

Canadian Blood Services is encouraging donors to attend an upcoming pre-Remembrance Day clinic in St. Albert. People can book an appointment to donate blood in honour of those who have served and those who protect our lives every day. Appointments are available from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Red Willow Community Church, 15 Corriveau Ave. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Albert Seniors Association (a.k.a. Red Willow Place), 7 Taché St.

Donating blood, the national blood agency says, is one of the most direct ways to help another person. While one in two Canadians are eligible to donate blood, only one in 60 will. Please visit www.blood.ca to learn more about donation or future local clinics.

Mitten tree

The St. Albert Seniors Association is also hosting a mitten tree for people to drop off donations of winter clothing until Dec. 15.

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About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.