Jade Hansen poses with the collection of donated items from the 2017 coat drive. Facebook photo

Hansen’s annual drive collecting warm coats and clothes for those in need

As Jade Hansen’s winter coat drive gets closer to its 10-year mark, the Comox Valley high school student is hoping donations will grow to a record amount.

The G.P. Vanier student is hoping to make the winter a little bit warmer for those less fortunate. For the past eight years, Hansen has organized her annual winter jacket and warm coat drive.

“Over 800 families were helped last year. The continued support has been unbelievable,” she noted and added her goal is to fill a trailer to capacity with coats, clothes, sweaters, toques, mitts and warm clothes for those in need in the Valley.

Seven years ago, Hansen knew she had to do something for those less fortunate following a trip to Vancouver with her family, and seeing “many homeless people who looked cold, and I wanted to help.”

In conjunction with her warm clothes drive, Hansen is also continuing with a different endeavour she added last year – one to specifically help women. She is hoping to collect sealed, boxed feminine hygiene products to donate to women who may not have access to them.

Throughout the month until Nov. 18, donations can be dropped off at the Re/Max Ocean Pacific Realty Courtenay office at 2230 Cliffe Ave. Monday to Friday from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. She is asking that all items be clean and washed.

On the 18th, Hansen will host a windup from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with hot dogs, apple cider and chocolate at Re/Max as a ‘thank you’ to those who donate items.

Last year, more than 33,400 pounds of clothing was donated to the Salvation Army, who allows families to ‘go shopping’ for warm clothes when they pick up their Christmas hampers at the organization.

Brent Hobden, community services director for the Salvation Army in Courtenay said people are thankful for the annual drive, and that it meets the needs of the community.

He added because of the warm weather as of late, it is difficult for people to think of warm clothing, but encourages donations, particularly waterproof mitts and ‘bomber-style’ jackets.

For more information, visit Jade’s coats for the homeless on Facebook.

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