This past Christmas, we created a program to make it possible for customers to purchase a discounted jacket, have us donate it on their behalf, and provide them a pretty certificate they could give to someone "who has everything" for Christmas. (Thanks for the idea, Bram from Deep Cove Outdoors! Thanks to Amanda V for designing our donation certificates!) We provided three donation destinations that the donor could choose from.
We were so happy that 11 people from the J4J Village took us up on it, purchasing a total of 13 jackets!
We donated 29 more jackets and vests from our own inventory of prototype woman's vests and woman's jacket's, especially in some of the larger sizes.
We decided that all of these items would be better off in the hands and on the backs of women who needed to stay warm this winter, but who were not in a position to purchase a cozy jacket.
So we gathered together 42 jackets and vests that we were able to donate.
Forty-two down jackets take up a lot of room! We packed them in Rajan's trusty durable duffle bags and donated those, too.
So, where did all these beautiful Heart-Warming Down Jackets go?
Four jackets went to the North Shore Crisis Services Society (NSCSS) - they are a small enough organization that they could tell us exactly what the women in their care needed and in each case we were able to provide the correct sizes.
Another 20 jackets and vests went to the Downtown Eastside Women's Shelter (DEWS). We delivered them in person on "Welfare Wednesday": the reason this matters is because on this day, there are no women in the shelter itself, which means that Len was permitted to come in with me to meet the donation coordinator. It was a real joy to open up our duffle bags and show her what we were able to give; the women there can use all the help and warm clothing they can get.
The last 18 pieces got super-squashed into a big red duffle bag and sent by Canada Post to Kelowna - direct to the House of Hope. We were introduced to them by our new partner, Her International of Kelowna. Hope Outreach distributed jackets and vests to the women there and also during their dusk walks downtown, when they provide women they encounter with the support and tools they need for survival on the streets.
We received a lovely thank you letter from the NSCSS and a card from the DEWS. It feels great to tell you all how much these donations were appreciated. Go J4J Village!!