There were lineups, smiles and even happy dances when SIRCH Community Services hosted its annual Share The Warmth giveaway in Haliburton, Minden and Bancroft last month.
The winter coat drive gives away warm winter gear for free to anyone in the community. This year hundreds of coats, snow pants, mitts, hats, gloves, scarves and much more were donated to the initiative and organized by a group of dedicated volunteers and STW coordinator Becca Anderson.
“One lady made a point of coming to me the Tuesday following the event, just to thank us for keeping her warm this winter,” said Mary Ellen Coughlan, who helped organize the Bancroft giveaway. She added a young boy did a happy dance when they found him a coat, ski pants, mitts, hat and scarf for the winter. “His father’s work has been shut down since the beginning of Covid,” said Mary Ellen.
The Bancroft giveaway saw more than 80 people come out and pick up items. More than 140 coats were distributed, nearly 100 hats, almost 80 pairs of mitts and much more!
In Haliburton and Minden it was a similar story with Becca reporting more than 110 coats were distributed between the two locations. Other items that were given out included 56 hats, 83 pairs of mitts, 24 pairs of boots, and 21 sweaters. Many of the items distributed were for children.
Becca said those that picked up items were filled with gratitude and shared those feelings.
“I remember one mother of four saying thank you for your help,” said Becca. “[She said] I was hoping this program would happen again this year. I rely on it every year to keep my children warm.”
Another person remarked that the event saved their family hundreds of dollars that they didn’t have.
SIRCH estimates that the giveaway equates to approximately $11,340 worth of winter wear that was distributed for free to the community. This was done through the kindness of everyone who donated, a team of hardworking volunteers and a community that cares.