Jade Hansen stands in front of her collection of coats from her most recent clothing drive this month. Photo submitted.

Warm clothes await those in need thanks to local drive

With a large selection of coats, clothes, winter jackets and blankets, more than 700 families can now choose what they need to keep warm.

They have a Comox Valley teen to thank.

G.P. Vanier student Jade Hansen has completed her eighth winter jacket and warm clothes drive, which helps those in need through the Salvation Army.

“It gives us a one-stop shop for all of the (families’) needs,” explained community services director, Brent Hobden. “We’re anticipating around 700 families to come in and be given a Christmas hamper. They can take whatever (warm clothes) they need; it sure makes a difference.”

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,” she noted.

This month, Hansen collected the clothes and donated them to the Salvation Army for distribution.

While she didn’t do a formal weigh-in, Hansen estimates she collected more than 4,000 pounds of clothing.

Hobden said the clothes will make a direct impact on the organization’s clients, and added he has noticed a shift in those using their services.

“We are seeing a significant change,” he said. “We’re not getting as many single people, but we are getting more families – working families that are having a bit of a struggle. It’s a trend we’ve been recognizing all year.”

Volunteers will now sort through the donated items from the drive, and hang them for when clients come by to pick up their hamper.

Hobden added clients are also able to see the programs, supports and services the Salvation Army offers in the Valley.

The pick-up facility is nearby the office at #9-468 20th St., and is open from Dec. 18 to 21.

For more information, call 338-8221.

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