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Community organization donates handmade toques, scarves to Edmonton’s homeless

Click to play video: 'Donation drive to keep people experiencing homelessness warm'
Donation drive to keep people experiencing homelessness warm
WATCH ABOVE: Winter weather has returned with a polar vortex causing temperatures to plummet to dangerous lows. It’s cold enough to activate the city’s extreme weather response, and as Sarah Komadina explains, it has community groups coming together to help keep people who are experiencing homelessness warm. – Jan 28, 2023

Hundreds of hours were spent knitting scarves and toques, all of which were donated to the Bear Clan Patrol to give to Edmonton’s homeless.

The organization is made up of volunteers who go out on the streets and help people experiencing homelessness — a definite need as the city experiences plummeting temperatures.

“Our brothers and sisters love to have homemade items. It shows them that the community cares and loves them,” said Judith Gale with the Bear Clan Patrol in Beaver Hills.

Click to play video: 'Boyle Street warming bus helping Edmontonians get out of the cold'
Boyle Street warming bus helping Edmontonians get out of the cold

The collective community initiative started collecting warm weather clothing just as temperatures took a dip.

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Through his job as a postal worker, volunteer Rashpal Sehmby says he has seen people struggling on Edmonton streets.

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“We have seen people who have lost tips of their fingers because of frost bite and stuff like that or living on the streets,” Sehmby said.

The city has issued its extreme weather response, which means the winter warming bus will be running, the encampment response team will be doing wellness checks and all public libraries and recreation centres can be used for warming purposes.

Click to play video: 'Extreme cold weather putting homeless Edmontonians at risk'
Extreme cold weather putting homeless Edmontonians at risk

The winter items that were donated Saturday will make a big difference for those people who are living rough, said Gale.

“We need to be able to keep our brothers and sisters safe during this cold snap. We really need a lot of clothing and blankets and jackets and gloves and toques and all of these wonderful items handmade. You just can’t ask for anything better,” she said.

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While the clothing drive ends Saturday, donations for warm clothes are always in high demand and welcome.

“It’s going to mean a life difference to our brothers and sisters. It’s going to keep them alive during this cold weather,” Gale said.

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