Contributed by: Eman Osman, Special Projects Worker
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King.
Over the month of May, communities around the Lower Mainland donated their gently used clothing and other goods for a clothing drive, organized by our Aegis West day program. This socially responsible gesture encouraged all to give back to families in need, while decluttering their closets and clearing some shelf space as well!
What did we do with all of the clothes? We hosted a free clothing market for community members in need. On June 7th, Aegis West and New Westminster’s Salvation Army came together to host their 5th Annual Clothing Market. This partnership has been going strong for over six years, working collaboratively on several projects aimed at fostering an inclusive sense of community. This event was successful in bringing 300 people of various socioeconomic statuses together, who couldn’t help but thank each other and the volunteers for helping their families. And as the Special Projects Worker, I was delighted to be able to witness the magic.
As community members walked in to the Salvation Army, they were welcomed with friendly faces and an impressive array of second hand apparel, alongside food items such as bread and milk. There was also a barbeque upstairs with hotdogs and drinks, accompanied by some fresh homemade cookies! I had the pleasure of meeting Jane, a New Westminster resident who frequently visits the Salvation Army. She shares with us: “I come here once a week to get food, and I can’t explain my feelings – I couldn’t survive without you guys.” Another gentleman found some shoes that fit like a pair of gloves, and was so delighted that he took off his old pair and sported his new ones for the rest of the day. When speaking to the supervisor of the Salvation Army, he shared that these moments reminded them why they give back to the community in the first place, and how it constantly ignites that spark to keep going. With many hot dogs and lots of gratitude, folks left with full bellies and warm hearts.
Aegis West would like to thank everyone for donating and participating in their clothing give back! Next up for Aegis is their FREE Carnival Event happening on Friday, July 13th from 10am-1:30pm at Sapperton Park in New Westminster. There will be food, games, art, live music, and much more – everyone is welcome. For more information, please call 604-522-5524.