Comox Valley students need help to keep clothing recipients warm

Lake Trail Middle School students including Rachael Jancowski (second from left) are collecting winter clothing for those less fortunate beginning Monday. - Erin Haluschak
Lake Trail Middle School students including Rachael Jancowski (second from left) are collecting winter clothing for those less fortunate beginning Monday.
— image credit: Erin Haluschak

From gloves to hats, mitts and more, Rachael Jancowski and her peers know the need is great to keep warm for those living on the street in the latter half of winter.

Jancowski, 14, is the founder of Gimme Shelter, a non-profit organization benefitting Courtenay’s homeless, and a student at Lake Trail Middle School.

Along with a group of students, Jancowski has created a winter clothing drive at the school for those less fortunate needing to keep warm.

“Around Christmastime there’s always so much attention (on the homeless) but January going into February going into March even, it’s a cold few months and they are running out of supplies and warm things,” she explained. “Our saying is, ‘Let’s keep people warm this winter.’”

Jancowski, along with a group of Grade 8 and 9 students, are collecting donations from students and the larger community of toques, mittens, winter jackets, wool socks and other warm clothing.

Donations can be dropped off at the front office of Lake Trail Middle School in Courtenay.

“This is going to be clothing to keep them warm, and that will be the immediate result of being able to be comfortable and content even though it’s cold outside,” added Jancowski.

Student Breanna Patterson explained the idea came about when she and her classmate Claire Braunberger began to work on a current events project.

“We’re doing homelessness and we have a campaign and we wanted to help Rachel’s campaign,” she noted.

Braunberger said the point of the project is to make people aware of what was going on in the area, and empower students and the larger community.

“It was really cool for us to be able to do something as well as to get other people to do that.”

The drive begins Jan. 27 at 8 a.m., where Jancowski and other students will collect items for half an hour before classes and after school between 3 and 3:30 p.m. until Feb. 3.

All clothes collected will be sorted and donated to the Good Samaritan Free Store at the Courtenay Foursquare Church.

“You see a lot of people on the streets and I think this is going to give the Valley a lot of brightness and make everyone happy,” said student Faydra Anderson.

Jancowski said while there isn’t a goal in mind, she hopes to collect as much as possible by opening the drive to the entire Comox Valley.


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