Hundreds of coats and sweaters were available at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s 12th annual coat drive giveaway. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Hundreds of jackets claimed at Cool Aid Society’s 12th Annual Coat Giveaway

Donations from the community were given to hundreds of people in need

Hundreds of people packed themselves into a small gymnasium at the Victoria Cool Aid Society’s Downtown Community Centre on Wednesday afternoon to browse through mountains of sweaters and dozens of racks of jackets for the 12th annual Cool Aid Coat Giveaway.

More than 250 jackets and countless sweaters, scarves, toques, gloves and boots collected from the community were given away to people in need, ranging from young families to senior citizens.

READ MORE: Donate your gently used coat to those in need

“I think we did a little bit better this year, and certainly the attendance is much higher which illustrates the need in the community,”said Wendy Stone, program coordinator of the Cool Aid Society’s casual labour pool, which organized the event. “It’s pretty incredible, I think we exceeded attendance in the first 15 minutes over last year’s event.”

People left with handfuls to entire garbage bags of garments to keep them and their families clothed for the next few months.

Mark Steele, who was volunteering at the event, knows how important the day is.

ALSO READ: Victoria society helps women dress for success

“Eighteen months ago I was homeless and on the street and soaked through,” he said. “These are life-saving events; they happen once per year and some of these people just don’t have the budget to buy new stuff.”

Cindy Matkin attended the event for a second year in a row, finding a windbreaker and a couple fleecy sweaters her size.

“I was waiting all year for this one,” she said. “It makes it so it’s easier to get warm, it’s been pretty cold out there.”

Anyone interested in donating to the cause can drop off donations at 465 Swift St. Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information on the Cool Aid Society’s casual labour pool and its initiatives, visit coolaid.org/how-we-help/labour-pool.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

HomelessVictoria Cool Aid Society

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Mark Steele is no longer homeless, but volunteered at the coat giveaway knowing how important the event is to people living in poverty or on the streets. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Just Posted

Sooke School District No. 62 superintendent Scott Stinson explains that most block classes at Belmont Secondary will be halved. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Sooke School District opens conversation on catchment boundary changes

Feedback solicited at virtual town hall Oct. 28

HarbourCats players celebrate winning the North Division Championship Series in 2019. (Christian J. Stewart/File Photo)
Victoria HarbourCats locked out of team Facebook page

Management hires legal team to solve issue

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

Helping others, especially those struggling with mental health issues, keeps MOD Pizza owner Jim Hayden cooking. (RIck Stiebel/News Staff)
FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

A view from the deck of a home in SookePoint. The property is a prize in the VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery. Tickets are on sale now. (Contributed photo)
Millionaire Lottery home up for grabs in Sooke

Sooke prize home part of latest VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery

Most Read