The real estate community in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is gearing up for the largest and longest running blanket and warm clothing drive in these parts for the poor and homeless.
The 2015 collection marks the 21st year of the campaign, which started as a spontaneous action in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by some realtors, according to industry spokesperson Fiona Youatt.
“What we do is we ask our members to ask their clients if they have any blankets or warm clothing they could donate,” Youatt told the Straight in a phone interview.
“And then we have volunteer realtors who collect these donations, sort them, and then take to local charities. And these are charities within their community, so it stays local. And also they’re given to charities that distribute the donations directly to the people in need,” the communications coordinator of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver explained.
The REBGV, Fraser Valley Real Estate Board, and Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board are partners in the annual blanket and warm clothing campaign.
In addition to blankets and clothing, scarves, hats, gloves, and new socks and underwear are included in the drive.
Last year, more than 17,000 blankets and clothing items were collected. Around 100 real estate offices participated in the campaign.
Youatt said that a number of realtors collect cold-weather articles all year round.