From community-wide efforts to a campus focus, people rally together to support one another
As the temperatures dip, Regina witnesses the onset of winter. The season entails lots of layering of warm winter clothes to make it through the chilly wind. Many people rely on organizations that run year-round and seasonal winter clothing drives to provide warm winter clothing to residents of Regina.
These clothing drives help fulfil the basic needs of a person’s requirement for warmth when temperatures get life-threatening. Warm clothing consists of winter jackets, boots, sweaters, scarves, toques, gloves, mittens, and socks, among other items.
Organizations like Salvation Army run a year-round clothing drive. “We serve a lot of people who need to stay warm in the winters, and so having the ability to have a bank of warm winter clothing – whether it’s coats, boots, mitts, toques – all of that is really important because people often come in and are in need of those,” said Al Hoeft, Major, Divisional Secretary for Public Relations, Assistant Executive Director, Regina Waterston Ministries of the Salvation Army Prairie Division and the Salvation Army Alberta and Northern Territories Division. “One of the goals would be to always make sure that we have the capacity to give them what they need to stay warm, be healthy, be safe – all of those things.”
“We recognize that everybody is often serving a similar population, people who have similar needs in their own lives at this point for a variety of reason,” continued Hoeft about all the organizations in the city coming together to support the community in this time of need. Hoeft recommended dropping off any winter clothing in any of the Salvation Army thrift stores during the store’s hours as they accept donations throughout the year with an emphasis on the need of gloves, one of the most commonly required items.
“We just noticed that there is not a lot of support in the community, and we wanted to give back to people,” said Cherish Alexson, student and Indigenous Student Council member who is currently working at the ta-tawâw Student Centre. This centre at the University of Regina is currently running a winter clothing drive with bins for drop-off near its office in the Research and Innovation Centre. They believe in keeping it open for all, wishing to serve the community and bring people together. For those wanting to donate to a local community agency, the drive will be running from Oct. 16 to Dec. 1, 2023.
“We want to accumulate as much as possible through the local community and make a possible impact,” said Alexson. They will be distributing clothes to community organizations such as All Nations Hope and Sophia House in Regina. The Al Ritchie Community Association also accepts donations to their Second Chance Community Shop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.