Because community involvement is so near and dear to our hearts, Maritime Fuels was fortunate enough to host a radio remote provided by FX 101.9 as a hub for the Coats for Kids Foundation. FX 101.9 broadcasted live for several hours while we had generous members of the surrounding communities drop off their new or gently used winter coats to our location. As many of us Maritimers know, our winters can be harsh and unforgiving. That’s why foundations like Coats for Kids is so essential here in our Maritime communities.
Maritime Fuels was privileged to speak with Adsum for Women & Children’s Fund Development & Commination’s Officer, Kathy McNab. As well as, Brunswick Street Mission’s Director of Fundraising & Communications, Carmen Boyko. These everyday heroes we’re kind enough to shed some light on the importance of the Coats for Kids Foundation and tips for anyone looking to help support local organizations, such as, Adsum for Women & Children & Brunswick Street Mission.
In your opinion, how important is the Coats for Kids Foundation here in the HRM?
Kathy – Every day, all year, Adsum for Women & Children has 90 people living in our 7 locations and we support another 80 women and families with more than 200 children who live in apartments throughout the community. We also help 70 people a week who come to the Déjà vu clothing room. Many come to us with just the clothes on their back, and all of them live in poverty and need help with extras outside of housing and rent. People in Halifax are very generous and want to know how to help, the coat campaign allows Halifax to help all the clients we serve to have a warm coat, hats, mitts and even boots.
Carmen – As a charity that supports those experiencing poverty in the HRM, Brunswick Street Mission knows that 1.3 million Canadian children live in poverty conditions, that 95% of low income single parent families living in Nova Scotia are headed by women and that in Nova Scotia poverty for those under the age of 18 increased from 15.7 to 17.1% in 2017, the highest in Canada. Without this type of program, we would not have the number of coats and warm winter items we need to support those that come to us for help.
Our radio remote is now over, but are people still able to drop off coats and other warm clothes to your location(s)?
Kathy – Yes, we are accepting new and used winter coats and boots at Adsum House – 2421 Brunswick St. During the holidays, due to space, we will not accept other used items to make room for new gifts. We will accept used clothing again on January 6.
Carmen – Brunswick Street Mission is always happy to accept gently used clothing to support men, women and children in the HRM. Throughout the year donations can be dropped off anytime between 9am and 2pm Monday to Friday at our office, located at 2107 Brunswick Street.
What kind of donations are the most helpful to your organization(s)?
Kathy – Monetary donations allow us to run our 7 properties and programs with full staff to support hundreds of clients. We can use your cash gift or gift of stock for whatever is our greatest need including helping women and families with rent supplements, groceries, moving expenses and power bills.
We also accept new and gently used clothing and household items. Here is our wish list for the Christmas season https://adsumforwomen.org/wish-list
Carmen – An excellent question with a difficult answer because what we need changes almost weekly. If we talk about what we need right now it is new underwear for men, women and children. We are always happy to accept gently used clothing, whether it is tops, pants, coats, shoes or new personal care items, we even have a couple wonderful donors who bring us small food donations to supplement our food bank program . . . but the best thing anyone who wants to donate can do, especially if they are looking at getting something on our wish list, is to give us a call and we’ll be happy to let you know what is in demand at the moment.
What advice would you give people looking to volunteer or donate with your organization(s)?
Kathy – At Adsum House shelter, we accept females/trans volunteers help to prepare lunch and dinner, to sort donations and work the Déjà Vu room. To become a regular volunteer please see what we have available that suits you and please fill out a volunteer application. https://adsumforwomen.org/volunteer
We keep our website up to date of ways to donate with money, stocks, legacy planning and a list of what we need most in clothes, personal care and household items through the year. You can see all the ways to donate by visiting https://adsumforwomen.org/donate
Carmen – We love our volunteers, our clothing bank, food bank, front desk and Benevolent Program are managed and run by volunteers. Our breakfast program requires volunteers to help us feed our guests, and Saturdays are completely staffed by volunteers. Knowing this, it’s important for anyone hoping to volunteer to understand that we don’t often have one off volunteer opportunities. We are generally looking for people who have time, perhaps weekly, for long term volunteering. For those wanting to donate we are always happy to share what comes in as a donation goes out to those that need it for free. We do not sell our items, which is really important to many of our donors. Financial donations are always greatly appreciated and can be used to support all of our programs and help us keep the lights on and our doors open.
If you would like to learn more about how you can support these fantastic organizations or would like more information, please contact Adsum House – call (902) 423-5049, visit https://adsumforwomen.org/ or find them on social media @adsumforwomen. Brunswick Street Mission – call 902-423-4605, visit https://www.brunswickstreetmission.org/ or find them on social media @brunswick_street_mission