The downfall of the economy has greatly affected many lives in the Fraser Valley. Lifestyles have been altered, priorities shifted, necessity changed. You now ask yourself, do I really need a $100 pair of heels? I should buy rain boots and rain jackets for my kids or buy gas instead.
Many families and individuals don’t even have a choice – money is so tight they can’t buy boots for their kids, can’t afford a car, and just pray they even have a few dollars to feed and clothe their family or themselves.
Clothes on Wheels – making change
Clothes on Wheels is a local, non-profit organization providing free clothing for families and individuals living in the Lower Mainland. Sanja and her husband Marc left their corporate jobs, used most of their savings, and along with over 91 volunteers and community members, established Clothes on Wheels to work towards eradicating poverty in children, adults and families in the Lower Mainland.
Partnering with the community
There are 66 elementary schools working in partnership with Clothes on Wheels to organize events, 25 of which are inner city schools. Their event model is really quite unique. Flyers are distributed to every student, inviting families in need to attend. Racks of clothing, organized by size and gender, are delivered and set-up in the school gym so families can ‘shop’ and find what they need. Clothes on Wheels also operates from a transport trailer, providing easy access to community members right outside their door.
More than clothes
But Clothes on Wheels is doing more than just giving free clothes and items – they get to know each individual and family in need and create a plan so they won’t need to visit Clothes on Wheels anymore. That ranges from helping people find a job, learn to speak English or learn a new skill – whatever it takes to get them out of poverty.
Sanja and Marc are an amazing couple doing life-changing work, putting in more time, money, and passion than most are ever willing. But you can help too! See below for ways to contribute to Clothes on Wheels and help lower poverty in your community.
How you can help
Give clothing: Clothing donation needs include: school clothes, coats and other cold-weather accessories, professional clothing for employment interviews, and shoes, which wear out quickly and must be replaced often, especially among growing children. Donations can be dropped oat 14781 104th Avenue, Surrey (Hjorth Road Elementary School Office) from 9:00 am to 3:00pm Monday-Friday (closed on school holidays). Please ensure the items are in a sealed plastic bag.
Become a volunteer: Become a volunteer with Clothes on Wheels and help create positive change in your community by providing your skills, expertise, energy and time. Clothes on Wheels welcome any men, women and teenagers to contribute to the growth and success of the organization.
Financial donation: Your donation would go towards the purchase of new clothing such as new undergarments, shoes, and boots and will contribute to the operations of the organization to keep it running.
Visit http://www.clothesonwheels.org to learn more and decide how you can help.
Contributed by guest author Kristy Hill of TwellMedia.