Where can I donate my winter clothes and gear to help those in need?

This is such an important question. Arrowhead Clubhouse in Sechelt tweeted that they are looking for donations that will help keep their members warm. I connected with Arrowhead staff-member Foye, who told me there is an immense need for sleeping bags, and also tents. He stressed how he is always amazed at how in need these items are every year, and how he never seems to have enough on hand.

For everything else, he said, in order of need, Arrowhead’s folks can really use: warms socks, gloves, winter coats, waterproof gear and other warm clothes including base layers like long johns. Call Arrowhead Clubhouse directly at 604-747-4734 for questions. VCH’s Harm Reduction Outreach worker Brent Fitzsimmons has been collecting cold weather items for some time now. Connect with Brent at 604-741-1082.

Raincity outreach worker Robbie Gillard has also done a callout on Facebook for these types of donations. Call Robbie at 604-989-5179 to arrange for pick-up or drop-off. There are undoubtedly many other groups up and down the coast looking for this type of clothing and gear at this critical time of year. If you have items like the ones mentioned above that you don’t need, that extra 10-15 minutes it takes to move around some boxes, dust off some underused camping items or clothes, and give one of the numbers I mentioned a ring, can make an immeasurable difference to those in need. **If you are in need, come by the Resource Centre and we can help connect you to the items you are looking for.

I am curious when the cold weather shelter opens this year. I know a lot of folks who will need it.

Town of Gibsons Homelessness coordinator Silas White says that the Gibsons winter overnight shelter will be opening earlier than planned this year. Tuesday November 2nd will be the first night it is open. The hours for the shelter will be 7pm-7am. There will be 7 beds, with possibility for a few more as needed. The Shelter will be run again by the Salvation Army, in their space next to the Panago at 682 Gibsons Way. It’s the same space as last year, and it’s where they run other programming like their food bank. For more info, call Silas at 604-741-7023, or Darrell at the Salvation Army at 778-388-9649.

**Note: In my previous column I wrote about flu shot clinics up and down the coast. I wanted to flag that the VCH Sunshine Coast “general public” clinics welcome community members of all ages – including anyone 6 months and older, while the VCH “Children with Parents” clinics are for families with children only. In terms of local pharmacies offering flu vaccines, call them directly about age restrictions.

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Mon-Thurs 10am-330pm. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Drop-ins welcome. Contact us: help@resourcecentre.ca or 604-885-4088.