Winter can be especially challenging for individuals and families who cannot afford proper clothing, food and shelter.
Beth Marks, a realtor at Sutton Group – Lakefront Realty, found a way to help that was convenient and fun for the community: the Sutton Warm & Fuzzy Shelter Collection.
Marks and a dozen colleagues greeted drivers recently in the parking lot of the office to accept donations of coats, gloves, hats, blankets and more. This first annual drive-thru donation event was a great success.
“We collected enough to fill a mover’s truck to about half full,” said Marks. “We collected all types of winter clothing from long johns to coats and also blankets. Because the story was featured on the Okanagan news, more people found out about our Sutton Warm & Fuzzy Shelter Collection and dropped off items at our office over the next few days. That second load was enough to fill the back of a pick-up truck. We even had an Okanagan retail store call and donate boxes of new hoodies.
“Our local Howard House and Gateway Shelters were gearing up their emergency cold weather plans and mentioned on the news that they needed warm clothing and blankets,” said Marks, explaining why she felt it was important to donate her time to organizing and participating in the event.
“I knew many residents would be uncomfortable parking and dropping at the shelters so this plan seemed simple.”
With huge smiles, expressions of gratitude and a few moments to catch up with old friends and neighbours, the event brought out the best in everyone. Almost all the realtors and staff at the Sutton office of 15 were able to participate.
“We recognize that there are a lot of challenges for low-income people to live in our community. We want to do what we can.”
All donations have been delivered to shelters where items are being distributed to local people in need.