Nova Scotia

Halifax group that donates to shelters scrambling to meet demand

The Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign was launched eight years ago and aims to donate 200 care packages that include winter and hygienic essentials to different shelters around the Halifax area.

The Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign was launched eight years ago

Faye Edwards and sons Bryce and Kaden show the donations they've collected so far for 2019. Edwards says Bryce makes the deliveries. (Submitted by Faye Edwards)

A group that collects items for shelters in the Halifax area says it is "in desperate need" of men's gloves and socks this year.

"It just seems like things have slowed down for us this year, especially with the men's gloves, because unfortunately they are a bit of an expense," said Faye Edwards, who runs The Hats, Mitts and Gloves Campaign in partnership with Cindy Landry.

Edwards is a single mother of four children and works as an educational program assistant for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education.

The community-based campaign launched eight years ago.

Edwards estimates Hats, Mitts and Gloves has donated around 1,400 packages containing socks, gloves, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, bars of soap and treats. They aim to give out 200 packages this year.

"I wanted to teach my kids it was better to give than to receive," Edwards said.

Edwards said her children gave up their Christmas gifts in the first year of the campaign.

A volunteer with the Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign drops off donations in downtown Halifax in 2018. (Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign/Facebook)

"I wanted them to see there are people out there who are less fortunate and I wanted them to learn a valuable lesson — it's better to give than receive," Edwards said.

"Good things have happened to me in the past when I was down on my luck and I did receive a lot of help and I wanted to return the favour and do something to give back to the community."

She said they went out and bought new items for people in need. They were bundled into packages and given to a shelter.

The next year, Edwards said they started putting items into backpacks. She said they accept new and used backpacks if they're still in good condition with working zippers.

Edwards said they've donated to Metro Turning Point, Barry House, the Rebuilding Centre, the Nehiley House, Sir Sandford Flemming House, The Apartments on Herring Cove Road and the Out of the Cold Shelter.

Packages could contain personal items as well as hats and gloves. (Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign/Facebook)

Because the Out of the Cold Shelter has no building this year, Edwards said they're going to be distributing gift cards for coffee and wishing people a Merry Christmas on the streets.

Donations will be collected until Dec. 10. The Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign has a Facebook group for those interested in donating.

Hats collected by the Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign. (Hats, Mitts and Socks Campaign/Facebook)

Edwards said people who donate are able to track their donations to see where they end up.

"We post everything online so that everybody can see this is 100 per cent going to all the shelters." she said.

About the Author

Anjuli Patil

Reporter

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.

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