London

Londoner organizes free shopping event for those in need

A London, Ont., woman has organized a free shopping event for those in need of clothing and other necessities, hoping to spread kindness in the community.

Kay Habib noticed a need while working with refugee women

Kay Habib stands among the many boxes of donations. (Submitted by Kay Habib)

A London, Ont., woman has organized a free shopping event for those in need of clothing and other necessities, hoping to spread kindness in the community. 

"Among the women I work with on a daily basis, there is a big need for clothing and other items," said Kay Habib, the interior designer who is the CEO of Skilled Accents, a social enterprise that employs marginalized women to create home decor products from recycled fabric.  

"There is also a hesitancy to ask for donations or take donations that are given in a plastic bag. So, I thought, 'who can I make this experience of accepting donations a pleasant one for people in need?'" 

The concept of London Let's Be Kind was born — a shop, of sorts, but where there's no money exchanged. 

"I want it to be a boost, and experience that they otherwise wouldn't be able to have," Habib said. 

The project was delayed because of COVID, but it will finally happen on Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 1737 Dundas Street East, in the parking lot of Avis car rental. 

"This is the first event but my vision is to have it on at least an annual basis," Habib said. 

Each pillow cover at Skilled Accents is signed by the individual who made it. (Liny Lamberink/CBC London)

Clothing donations for men, women and children are being accepted. 

"This is a time where people are changing out their wardrobe for the season, and instead of throwing out some nicer things, I'd love for them to donate so they can go for a good cause." 

Donations are being accepted in the Skilled Accents showroom on Woodcock Street near the intersection of Hyde Park and Fanshawe Park Road. Volunteers can also drive to pick up donations, Habib said. 

"We have a lot of donations, but we really want to get the word out that this is happening, people don't have to register, they just have to show up and take all these great items," she said. 

Habib has also been contacting social agencies and organizations that work with marginalized individuals to spread the word about the event. 

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