The longest running blanket drive in the Lower Mainland kicked off its 17th annual campaign on Monday.
The Realtors Care Blanket Drive continues to Dec. 5, with hundreds of real estate offices from Whistler to Chilliwack acting as drop-off depots for new and used articles of warm clothing, as well as blankets.
Since the campaign started in 1995, more than 165,000 people have benefitted from the drive.
Last year in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows alone, more than 200 big bags were filled.
Every real estate office in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is participating, said organizer Jewel Yourchek, with Macdonald Realty in Maple Ridge.
“People need it now more than ever,” Yourchek says. “And not just people living in the streets, but working families as well.”
As part of this year’s drive, offices are collecting new or gently used blankets, sleeping bags, coats, jeans, pants, sweaters, scarves, gloves, mitts and hats, new socks and underwear.
Donations will be going to The Caring Place, a Salvation Army ministry at the corner of the Haney Bypass and Lougheed Hwy..
All new items will be used to fill up Christmas hampers; gently used items will be distributed on an individual basis.
The Caring Place has the ability and the connections to distribute donations to people in the community, Yourchek said.
Donations stay in the community and are given away free.
• For more information, contact any real estate office in the community and ask for the blanket drive coordinator or go to www.blanketdrive.ca.
• Maple Ridge, donations can be dropped off at:
Coldwell Banker Tri-Tel Realty, 22519 Dewdney Trunk Rd.; Homelife Trendsetter Realty, 200 – 22728 Dewdney Trunk Rd.; Keller Williams Elite Realty, 550 – 20395 Lougheed Hwy.; Macdonald Realty Ltd., 22718 Lougheed Hwy.; Royal LePage-Brookside Realty, 11933 – 224th St.; RE/MAX Lifestyles Realty, 22308 Dewdney Trunk Rd.; and RE/MAX Results Realty, 20842 Lougheed Hwy.
In Pitt Meadows, drop donations off at RE/MAX Lifestyles Realty, No. 2 – 19126 Ford Rd.