There’s nothing like a warm hug on a chilly winter day, but the owners of Friperie Comptoir Familial in Vaudreuil-Dorion, east of Montreal, are taking it one step further.
Tania Crevier and Patrick Guidon say over the last year of owning their thrift shop, located at 69 Valois St., they’ve noticed some people in the community are in need of help.
“We decided, let’s put a rack and let’s say, ‘you’re cold, you need a coat? Just pick one up,'” said Guidon.
There are a variety of styles, sizes and colours for men, women and children.
The coat rack is set up outside the store so people don’t need to ask or enter the store.
“It’s easier for them,” said Crevier.
“They don’t have to come in and ask for a coat. They feel better like this, and they can just serve themselves.”
Terrasse-Vaudreuil resident Helena Tavares said she wasn’t surprised when she saw the coat rack.
She often helps homeless people in the area and said the couple is always ready to give her whatever she needs for free.
“There are people who are cold, people who are shy to approach people,” said Tavares.
“Over here, they don’t have to say anything. Patrick makes them feel comfortable. He gives from his heart, he wants to help those in need. That’s Patrick and Tania.”
Guidon and Crevier started the coat rack by donating some of their own items.
They then spread the word on social media and received even more jackets.
“About 60 per cent of what we get inside the store here is donation,” said Guidon.
They say it’s all about paying it forward.