News / Edmonton

'A lack of dignity:' Bissell Centre launches annual underwear drive for the homeless

The agency is asking people to #DropYourGonch

The Bissell Centre is asking Edmontonians to donate underwear this week.

Flikr/Brandie Heinel

The Bissell Centre is asking Edmontonians to donate underwear this week.

The Bissell Centre is kicking off its annual underwear drive for the city’s homeless, as the inner-city agency’s supply of garments reaches “critically low” levels.

The #DropYourGonch campaign runs from July 10 to 15 and works to “promote health and hygiene, while boosting self-esteem and confidence,” according to a release.

“People living on the streets may go months without a new pair of underwear,” Marketing Manager Devin Komarniski said in the same release. “(It) creates discomfort and a lack of dignity as they struggle to get off the streets.”

Edmontonians have donated over 9,000 pairs of underwear in the past three years — this year the goal is to collect 3,000.

“Underwear donations would have to double to meet the current need for people on the streets,” said Komarniski. “One out of every two people is turned away without a fresh pair of underwear. Underwear is the least donated of clothing items and we are critically low where we can’t fill the need at this moment.”

Edmontonians can drop off underwear all week at designated drop off locations.

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