News / Calgary

Snow on the way means Calgary shelters seeking clothing donations

Mustard Seed puts out call for gently used coats, hats and gloves to help those in need

Tiffany Weidrick, a staff member at The Mustard Seed, holds some of the donated winter coats they've already received.

ELIZABETH CAMERON / Calgary Freelance

Tiffany Weidrick, a staff member at The Mustard Seed, holds some of the donated winter coats they've already received.

If you haven’t looked at the weather forecast for the coming days, you've now been warned – it's going to snow.

While for most of us that just means digging the ice scraper out of the trunk of the car, for Calgary's homeless it's a much more serious problem.

The Mustard Seed put a call out on social media Tuesday for warm winter clothing.

Diana Camelo, communications specialist with The Mustard Seed, said they're asking for donations of winter hats, gloves, coats, running shoes and winter boots.

She said it's rain and snow that really drives the demand for these items, as opposed to just dropping temperatures.

"The cold doesn't affect our numbers as much as the precipitation," said Camelo. "We're going to see a lot more people at the shelter."

She said it's a perennial request because people who are living on the streets are more prone to lose their winter clothing.

"A lot of our clients have a backpack with everything they own. Then somehow, somewhere, everything gets stolen. This actually happens quite often."

On Tuesday, The Mustard Seed had already given out seven winter coats. Camelo said it's not unusual to give away 20 on a cold day.

Donations can be made at the Mustard Seed's downtown location at 102 - 11 Avenue SE.

Meanwhile, The Calgary Drop In and Rehab Centre is ramping up its Frosty Bites campaign. They give out clear plastic bags filled with items such as gloves, toques, socks, lip balm and hand cream. The kits also contain an information sheet on frost bite.  

"Our goal is to have zero cases of frost bite this year," said Shanika Abeysinghe, communications specialist for the Drop In.

The Drop In has a donations and recycling centre at 3640 11a Street NE.

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