In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone

Christina Rossetti

Though rain haunts our region more than snow for most of winter, it’s still rough going for those who sleep outside. Blankets, warm clothes, mittens, hats and scarves are all needed to stay as healthy and dry as possible. The City of Vancouver has opened emergency shelters again for the winter, but inevitably, not everyone finds accommodations every night. People need to stay warm during the day, too.

If you can make, buy or give up warm items, there are a number of options for donation. Baaad Anna’s held their annual Knit-a-thon this past weekend, with items going to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and there are some ongoing clothing drives happening in the city. Here’s a great list compiled by Miss 604 of locations accepting donations. Coastal Health is also running its Sox in the City campaign again this year. Finally, warm clothing can be dropped off at the Info Booth at the Vancouver Farmers’ Market Winter location for donation to Lookout Emergency Aid Society. (Just remember that the Market won’t be running December 25th or January 1st.)

December is also the traditional month for food drives. The Vancouver Food Bank accepts donations of non-perishable food items. So does A Loving Spoonful, which helps people living with HIV/AIDS. Quest Food Exchange also accepts donations of fresh produce, which can make a real difference in the diets of the people they serve.

Remember too, that six months from now, when the sun is shining, there will still be people in the city sleeping rough and many more needing the services that food banks provide. It might then be time to consider another round of donations.

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