Several community groups are working together on the second edition of a community coat drive in Dartmouth North.
Carla Foxe, who is helping coordinate the campaign, is a Community Specialist at the Darmouth North Public Library.
Her job title recently changed to reflect her role in connecting library patrons to much more than books, like social services and access to essentials like food and shelter.
She says she anticipates that this year’s need will be much greater than last year, which was combined in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“People are being evicted, prices are rising, the cost of food has risen dramatically, making it increasingly difficult to survive on basic necessities alone,” he said.
She says that while it’s difficult to predict exactly how many coats will be needed, she hopes to collect at least 200.
The pandemic has allowed them to change the format of a traditional coat.
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Those in need can order a coat in their preferred style, size and color and have it delivered to their home.
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The coats are also steamed and thoroughly cleaned to ensure everyone’s safety.
“I think everyone deserves a good coat,” Foxe said, adding a new coat can be a source of self-esteem as well as keeping people warm.
Volunteers leading the effort
Doris MacDonald, a longtime North Dartmouth resident, says she and the other volunteers get a sense of wholeness and community togetherness that has not existed during the pandemic.
“Basically, we get as much from helping as they from receiving. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to help because we can no longer raise large amounts and this is a way of touching the community in a tangible way. “
He moved to the neighborhood from his native Cape Breton when he was 19 years old. Despite his challenges, he loves the place he calls home.
“What I love about Dartmouth North is that the people are real,” he said. “They are genuine, and even if they don’t have much for themselves, they will help their neighbor. It’s a caring community and I couldn’t think of a better place to live. “
Donations of coats, hats, gloves and scarves can be made at the Dartmouth North Public Library, MLA Susan Leblanc Office, Dartmouth North Boys and Girls Club, Holy Trinity Church, SonLife Church and Church of San Antonio.
Monetary donations can be made online at canadahelps.org/en/dn/66439.
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