Norma Jean Neale and Ed Kazmir will be offering warm clothes and blankets for the homeless in downtown Maple Ridge on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Norma Jean Neale and Ed Kazmir will be offering warm clothes and blankets for the homeless in downtown Maple Ridge on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Maple Ridge couple to spend Christmas helping homeless

Offering blankets and winter clothes to street people downtown

A Maple Ridge couple will be spend their evening on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day offering warm clothes and blankets for people living on the streets.

Ed Kazmir has run Fast Eddie’s Guitar Hospital in downtown Maple Ridge for more than 30 years. This Christmas, he and wife Norma Jean Neale decided to help the homeless people he sees on the Lougheed Highway as he goes to work.

“I walk past them every day, and I don’t know what to do for them,” he said. “But I figure, at Christmas they should be warm.”

“We can’t help a hundred people, but we can help a few dozen.”

He has taken donations of blankets, tarps, and warm clothes; and gathered up a bunch of his own coats and jackets to distribute.

Neale works at a local retirement home, and the residents and staff have also been generous with donations. She has bags with toothpaste and other toiletries to hand out.

One day Kazmir had given a woman on the street some hand warmers, and watched as she went and gave them to her friends. The little heat packs seemed to be much appreciated, and he plans to drop about $50 at a dollar store, so he can offer those this Christmas, too.

Neale will be working at the retirement home both days, so they plan to be out in the evening.

“Everybody has the right to stay warm and dry, and these people need it more than anybody,” she said.

They won’t be able to see family this Christmas, so they agreed to reach out to their community this way.

“I’ve got to do something, so I don’t feel so sorry for myself, because I can’t see my grandkids,” said Neale.

“It makes me excited about Christmas again.”

They will be out front at 22348 Lougheed Hwy., with a table of items, trying to keep warm themselves as they offer what they can to people on the streets.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge man works for residential school survivors

READ ALSO: Santa will be giving hundreds of gifts to Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows seniors this year


Have a story tip? Email: ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Charity and DonationsHomelessmaple ridgePitt Meadows