Collect coats for kids

Help those in need keep warm this winter by donating to Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association campaign

Drop off winter coats at the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News office in downtown Maple Ridge

Drop off winter coats at the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News office in downtown Maple Ridge

The Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association has launched its 16th annual Coats for Kids campaign in support of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, a group which many initiatives help provide a brighter Christmas for families in need.

In addition to the GVHBA office, 29 companies at 45 locations in 13 municipalities will serve as coat drop-off sites from November 21 to December 9.

Coats, toques, gloves, blankets and new unwrapped toys will be collected at two locations in Maple Ridge.

Not only is there a need for children’s coats, but also for teens and adults as well, says GVHBA president Peter Simpson.

“There is a greater need this year than in past years as the economy is not as strong as last year,” says Simpson.

He is encouraging people to really search their closets for items that they either don’t wear or have grown out of.

Simpson started the campaign 16 years ago after driving to work through an area of financial difficulty.

He saw children walking to school in cold weather without proper clothing and realized that they just didn’t leave their homes dressed like this by choice.

They didn’t have warm coats to wear.

As soon as he got to his office Coats for Kids was born.

Last year the GVHBA collected over 3.000 winter coats, scarves and gloves from 34 companies that allowed their premises to be used as drop-off locations in 13 municipalities throughout Metro Vancouver.

“We always get a very good response from the people of Maple Ridge,” says Simpson. “They open their hearts and their closets for us.”

Donations will be picked up by the local Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau agency after December 9 in time for them to distribute the coats when needy families pick up their Christmas Hampers this year.

However, Simpson says, if other agencies that help the homeless need coats to distribute, they can contact him at peter@gvhba.org and he will make sure their needs are addressed as well.