Four years ago, following a trip to Vancouver with her family, Jade Hansen knew she had to do something to help those less fortunate.
“I was walking down the street and there were many homeless people who looked cold, and I wanted to help,” the Grade 7 Valley View Elementary School student explained.
Four years later, Hansen, along with the help of her sister and other members of her family, have collected nearly 3,000 pounds of coats and winter clothing during an annual one-day outer clothing drive to give to those in need in the Comox Valley.
This year, the drive is scheduled for Nov. 30 in the parking lot at Remax Ocean Pacific Realty in Courtenay (2230A Cliffe Ave.) and are hoping to break their goal of 1,500 pounds of clothing; last year, they collected 1,200 pounds.
As in past years, staff at Cumberland Regional Laundry have volunteered to launder all of the donated items before they are passed along to the Salvation Army for distribution.
“We already have seven bags and people are contacting us already (to drop off coats),” said Hansen, who is putting a challenge out to other schools in the area to see which school can give the most to the drive.
She is also putting the challenge out to minor hockey teams, including her team and her sister’s, to stuff as many bags full of clothes as possible.
“You don’t have to be homeless to need a jacket or warm clothes,” added Jade’s mom, Tara. “Anyone can use a warm jacket; times are really tough.”
On drop-off day, hot dogs and cider will be available by donation, and the family will also be collecting non-perishable items for the Comox Valley Food Bank along with toys for Santa’s Workshop.
Anyone who has items to donate but cannot make it on Nov. 30 is asked to drop them off at Comox Chiropractic at 203-1723 Comox Ave. during regular business hours.