Brandy Pfeil still gets a little teary when she recalls her favourite moment from last year’s Warm Hearts Coat Drive.
“We had a young couple, maybe in their early 20s, with a little fellow who just turned three and they all got new coats. The dad started tearing up and told me it was the first winter jacket he’d had since he was 16, and the first thing he was going to do was take his son outside to play in the snow.”
As the weather cools, coat-and-mitten season isn’t far behind, but for too many Wetaskiwin-area families, winter arrives with no warmth hanging in the closet.
To change that, the Wetaskiwin Mall is working with local stores, shoppers and the Boys & Girls Club to ensure families have the clothes they need to brave the winter cold, says Pfeil, Property Administrator & Marketing Coordinator at the Wetaskiwin Mall. The Mall’s 3rd Annual Warm Hearts Coat Drive collects new and gently used winter coats and children’s snow pants for local families in need.
“We want to make sure our families are staying warm this winter, so working in partnership with retail tenants like Sport Chek and Giant Tiger, the Wetaskiwin Mall and Avenue Living are buying 40 brand new coats, along with hats, mitts, and children’s snow pants,” Pfeil says.
Public donations are encouraged for more coats in all sizes.
Through its associated agencies, the Boys & Girls Club will distribute vouchers to local families in need who can then come Nov. 16 and claim their winter coats and accessories, Pfeil explains.
A growing response to local need
The Warm Hearts drive has continued to grow from the 35 coats purchased for families in 2017. Last year, more than 60 purchased and donated coats were distributed and Pfeil is confident they’ll surpass that with a new record this year.
The impact the contributions have is significant, she says, recalling another family from last year.
A grandmother was caring for her three grandchildren, and several grand-nieces and nephews. “We were able to provide jackets for all of them, and then a last-minute donation came in so we could provide their grandmother with a coat too. It was just amazing,” Pfeil says.
Donations gratefully accepted today!
Donations of new or clean, gently used coats for all ages or children’s snow pants can be brought to the Mall Administration office by Nov. 14, but Pfeil asks that donors call or email first so she can make sure she’s there to meet them. Call or text Brandy at 780-362-0473 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.