Realtors ready to help those in need with blanket drive
Realtors are mobilizing their charitable forces ahead of another Christmas season to help keep those less fortunate warm and dry.
The 18th annual Realtors Care Blanket Drive runs from Nov. 26 to Dec. 3 in Richmond and across Metro Vancouver.
In the eight-day period, realtors are encouraging local residents to donate gently used blankets, sleeping bags, warm clothing and jackets to help those in need. Donations of new socks and underwear are also welcome.
Throughout the campaign, realty offices act as collection depots. Realtors later deliver all the donations, which stay in the communities where the donations are made, or go to neighbouring communities if volumes exceed local need.
The Salvation Army Richmond is among the 35 charities in the region that benefit from the effort. People in need have long relied on the Gilbert Road charity to provide them with warm clothing and sleeping essentials.
“Without the donations from the blanket drive, we would not be able to provide essential clothing and blankets to many families in our community,” said Major Mary Smith, a local Salvation Army pastor. “Unfortunately, the demand becomes greater each year, especially where children are concerned.”
Since 1995, the blanket drive has supported at least 185,000 people.
Local realtor Deb Robson has been volunteering with the drive since it began.
“The blanket drive is important to me because it is so close to home,” she said. “Until I recently read a newspaper article about it, I had no idea just how many of our own community are homeless, and how many others desperately need help.”
Robson said she was six months old when she moved to Richmond, and has lived here and South Delta most of her life. Some of those who now need help are people she knows.
“It only takes one donation to make a difference, and our realtors in Richmond and South Delta always lend a hand to help,” she said.
Residents are asked to help by dropping off needed materials at one of nine Richmond locations, or attend a drive-through drop-off event. Richmond Sutton Group-Seafair Realty (Garden City Shopping Plaza at 9100 Blundell Rd.) is hosting the first on Saturday, Nov. 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Remax Westcoast (110-6086 Russ Baker Way, near Dinsmore Bridge) will also host a drop-off event—on Sunday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Visit blanketdrive.ca for a complete list of drop-off locations in Metro Vancouver.
Blanket drive drop-off locations
•Century 21 Prudential, 7320 Westminster Hwy., 604-278-2121;
•Richmond Harmony Dental Studio, 3700 Moncton St., 604-277-2223;
•Richmond Macdonald Realty Westmar, 203-5188 Westminster Hwy., 604-279-9822;
•Richmond Regent Park Fairchild Realty Inc., 2275-3700 No. 3 Rd., 604-606-8188;
•Richmond RE/MAX Westcoast, 110-6086 Russ Baker Way, 604-273-2828;
•Richmond RE/MAX Westcoast (Steveston), 1-12235 No 1 Rd., 604-274-7326;
•Richmond Royal Pacific Riverside Realty, 102-7080 River Rd., 604-270-8831;
•Richmond Sutton Group-Seafair Realty, 500-9100 Blundell Rd., 604-273-3155;
•Richmond Team 3000 Realty, 238-11180 Coppersmith Pl., 604-341-0006.