Donations are pouring in for Gordy Dodd’s annual ‘Share the Warmth Coat Drive.’
“We’ve wanted to be a be part of this community, year-round, for the last 45 years and we’ve tried to give as much as we can to give back to the community,” says the founder of Dodd’s Furniture & Mattress. Dodd’s Furniture has been collecting donations of winter coats, jackets, toques, gloves and scarves all month at its three Vancouver Island locations.
All the donations will go to help people in need in those communities, with the Campbell River Salvation Army, Nanaimo’s 7/10 Club and the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Our Place Society and Cool Aid in Victoria benefiting. “The need is always great, as you can imagine, and this year in particular, we’ve seen the extreme weather one way or the other so we’re always looking for warm clothing,” says Tracey Robertson of the Victoria Cool Aid Society. The combination of extreme weather and COVID’s taken a heavy toll on those living on the street — driving up the need for donations. “COVID has forced some people out of their temporary shelter, it’s created a sense of unease, it’s created a sense of people just not having that security and we’re trying to help as much as we can,” says Steven Seltzer of Our Place Society. And for people who are marginalized, the donations mean far more than we might imagine. “The part that maybe the donor doesn’t see in that is when you give someone a coat, or you give them a pair of socks or you give them a warm hat, you are basically saying we care about you and we see you,” Tracey explains. And they’re hoping that the awareness raised by this coat drive, will help inspire others to give back. “People see Gordy stepping up and think, ‘well, I can donate some coats’ or ‘I can sacrifice something small to make a difference’,” Steven says. “It really compounds.” For Gordy Dodd, it’s all about making a difference and giving back to the community that has given so much to him.. “I’m feeling good, the sharing is always something, donation, giving back to the community you always get internal self-happiness,” Gordy says. Donations are being collected until February 28th at the Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River Dodd’s Furniture locations.