Hundreds of coats and sweaters were available at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s 12th annual coat drive giveaway. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Hundreds of jackets claimed at Cool Aid Society’s 12th Annual Coat Giveaway

Donations from the community were given to hundreds of people in need

Hundreds of people packed themselves into a small gymnasium at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Downtown Community Centre on Wednesday afternoon to browse through mountains of sweaters and dozens of racks of jackets for the 12th annual Cool Aid Coat Giveaway.

More than 250 jackets and countless sweaters, scarves, toques, gloves and boots collected from the community were given away to people in need, ranging from young families to senior citizens.

READ MORE: Donate your gently used coat to those in need

“I think we did a little bit better this year, and certainly the attendance is much higher which illustrates the need in the community,”said Wendy Stone, program coordinator of the Cool Aid Society’s casual labour pool, which organized the event. “It’s pretty incredible, I think we exceeded attendance in the first 15 minutes over last year’s event.”

People left with handfuls to entire garbage bags of garments to keep them and their families clothed for the next few months.

Mark Steele, who was volunteering at the event, knows how important the day is.

ALSO READ: Victoria society helps women dress for success

“Eighteen months ago I was homeless and on the street and soaked through,” he said. “These are life-saving events; they happen once per year and some of these people just don’t have the budget to buy new stuff.”

Cindy Matkin attended the event for a second year in a row, finding a windbreaker and a couple fleecy sweaters her size.

“I was waiting all year for this one,” she said. “It makes it so it’s easier to get warm, it’s been pretty cold out there.”

Anyone interested in donating to the cause can drop off donations at 465 Swift St. Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information on the Cool Aid Society’s casual labour pool and its initiatives, visit coolaid.org/how-we-help/labour-pool.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

HomelessVictoria Cool Aid Society

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Mark Steele is no longer homeless, but volunteered at the coat giveaway knowing how important the event is to people living in poverty or on the streets. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Just Posted

Saanich Peninsula business leader calls for education campaign on social distancing

Chamber boss Denny Warner says Sidney demographics make consistent safety protocols necessary

Fish habitat enhancement champions set to start next project in Saanich

The latest stage of restorations to Colquitz Creek runs Aug. 4 to 14

New development will pay homage to fallen World War One pilot

1015 Cook St. will become 28 market rental homes with mural

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada vows retaliatory measures as Trump restores tariff on Canadian aluminum

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Cowichan RCMP use spike belts to end car chase — man in custody

The driver was arrested at the scene a short distance from his vehicle

Island youth starts virtual race against racism

Cailyn Collins says people can take part in the cause from anywhere

COVID-19 tests come back negative for remote First Nation

“There are no suspected cases in the community at this time.”

Most Read