Warming our Community, Layer by Layer

This winter, Vancouver has experienced more snow days than expected. For those of us who are used to a temperate climate, we really aren’t prepared. But it could be worse. Can you imagine what it might feel like to not have a sweater or jacket to keep you warm? This is a reality for many people in our community. Someone you pass by on the street–or even someone you know–might not be able to afford a coat, or even a scarf. These are the people who are least equipped to deal with the unusually frigid weather.

Let’s warm up our neighbours.

At 6S, we realized that it’s too easy to take our comforts for granted. We decided to hold a clothing donation drive for Covenant House, an organization that works with homeless youth. The demand for coats and jackets is high at this time of year. With an office full of young people, we feel it’s important to support local youth and give back to the community. And as a business located just down the street from such an altruistic organization, it’s our responsibility to respect and support the neighbourhood, its residents, and its wayfarers.

Covenant House is a valuable resource for homeless youth.

An organization that works with transient youth 16-24, Covenant House is one of our neighbours in downtown Vancouver. This age group represents a critical stage in life, and Covenant House provides disadvantaged young people with food, clothing, shelter, counseling, and more. With their Street Outreach program, youth workers spend evenings actively scouring the streets to find at-risk youth and offer support where it’s most needed. They provide food and shelter if necessary, and chat with those who need a listening ear. The Crisis Program provides 54 beds between Covenant House’s two locations so young people can stay and receive the help that they need, leaving when they feel ready.

The Rites of Passage program provides affordable housing for struggling youth. The program consists of classes, counseling, and curfews to help young people add structure in their lives. Participants have to commit to developing an education plan or maintaining employment, and a part of their income goes towards room and board. In exchange, they stay at a fully furnished apartment in a safe environment, develop important life skills, receive support, and get a fresh start.

Supplies are needed year-round.

Once they’ve collected the donations, Covenant House sorts through items to best match each individual’s wants or needs. Anything left over is re-donated to other non-profit organizations.

Covenant House is always looking for age appropriate items for young people, such as:

  • Clean, undamaged, age appropriate clothing:
    • Hoodies, T-shirts, tank tops
    • Jeans
    • New underwear & socks
    • Dresses/skirts
    • Belts, hats, watches
    • Shoes and boots
    • Bras
    • Waterproof clothing
    • Unused and unopened hygiene supplies
  • Non-perishable food items (canned goods, pasta, rice, etc.)
  • Age appropriate books and magazines
  • MP3 players, CD players, headphones, clock radios
  • Cell phones
  • Steel toed boots
  • Kitchen and housing goods that are clean and in working condition (think of the basics)
  • Pots and pans
  • Cups and mugs
  • Plates and cutlery
  • Bedding in good condition, especially single or double sheets
  • Sleeping bags
  • Art supplies
  • Event tickets and outings

You can find more information and the full list of accepted items here.

This is just one way we’re taking care of our neighbourhood.

Throughout this year and in years to come, 6S will be looking for more ways to connect and support our community. We challenge you to do the same. If you and your company are interested in collecting donations for Covenant House, please contact Marissa Barrie, Gifts in Kind Development Associate, at [email protected].

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