WINS creates win-win situation for Global Calgary and community

Click to play video: 'Local charity creates win-WINS situation for Global Calgary and community'
Local charity creates win-WINS situation for Global Calgary and community
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Global News Calgary’s charity clothing sale, a local community partner stepped forward to help solve the problem of what to do with the mountain of clothes. Deb Matejicka reports – Jan 26, 2021

For years, Global Edmonton has been giving back to its community and raising funds via a very successful charity wardrobe sale.

“We thought, ‘What a fantastic idea.’ We’d like to do that,” said Global News anchor Linda Olsen.

“We’ve been working on this for the past couple of years and had everybody who you might see on a regular basis on air donate their clothing, which we knew was going to go to a good cause.

“So we had all this clothing, and we were ready to host this charity sale here at Global Calgary, and then the pandemic hit.”

The sale had to be postponed over and over again.

Story continues below advertisement

“We’ve been holding onto these items knowing that we wanted to put them to good use, and we came up with the idea that we’re going to directly make the donation,” said Olsen.

It was at this point that a community partner, the Women in Need Society (WINS), stepped in to ensure the clothing could still be put to good use in a safe and beneficial way to the community.

“We love the fact that Global has faith in us that we’re going to do the right things with the product they’re going to give us, and we can make it easy for them as well,” said WINS executive director Karen Ramchuk.

For Global Calgary, the chance to have WINS sell the clothing has fulfilled that initial goal of connecting with the community.

“It’s just a great way to be able to give back in our socially distanced and safe way and make that difference because, obviously, charity work and community work is so important for us at Global Calgary,” said Joel Senick, who co-anchors Global News Hour at 6 with Olsen.

“People can take advantage of it and get some items that have been gently used for a really good price and support the programs at the Women in Need Society,” added Olsen.

Story continues below advertisement

Since the start of the pandemic, WINS has reported a 70 per cent increase in demand for its services, but thanks to overwhelming support from the community, it has been able to meet that demand.

“Calgarians are very, very generous, and I think they get that when they donate to WINS, it helps the community because 89 per cent of the revenues we earn go directly to pay for our community programs,” said Ramchuk.

Veronica Edohan is a graduate of WINS’ Retail Ready program and now works at its main warehouse.

“They’ll help you to settle down and also not only give you maybe clothes [but they are also] definitely going to equip you with many other things that will help you progress in the future,” said Edohan, who moved to Calgary from Nigeria just over one year ago.

WINS has also been getting innovative with all the clothing donations it has received over the last 10 months. It recently opened its More Store where it sells slightly imperfect items of clothing for $1 or less, and it also introduced an online store called Twice New by WINS.

Story continues below advertisement

Shoppers on the new site can select from a variety of themed boxes of clothing that is shipped directly to them for a set price. The clothes are curated by a WINS stylist to suit each theme and come in six different sizes. Themed boxes vary from “casual Friday” to “get to work,” and contain full outfits.

Sponsored content