Annual Coat Drive spreads warmth this winter

News / Patient & family Centred Care
By Anne Rutherford

More than 900 people benefit from 2600-plus coats, mitts, socks, hats and more

Kingston Health Science's Centre's (KHSC) mission to compassionately care for others has translated into a warmer winter for hundreds in our community this year. 

By the time the annual Hotel Dieu Hospital/St. Mary’s Cathedral Winter Coat Drive wrapped up on January 18, the distribution centre had handed out 2622 items. Those items included 848 coats and 1774 accessories such as socks, mitts, hats, gloves, scarves, blanket and boots. The increase in donations is good news considering the number of people in need of warm winter clothing was on the rise this year.  

In total, 964 people (compared to 702 last year) visited the distribution centre, located at St. Mary's Cathedral, which operated for 38 days from mid-November to mid-January.

“Fortunately, we a had a steady stream of donations this year,” says Elizabeth Bardon, VP Missions, Strategy & Communications at KHSC. “The community within and beyond KHSC generously responded when we put out some extra urgent calls for coats, especially in larger sizes.

“We’re also very grateful to staff across both our HDH and KGH sites for donating not just coats but also hundreds of socks. It was wonderful to see bags overflowing with socks presented at the tree lighting ceremony at our HDH site. That generosity means that many people, including those who are homeless or vulnerably housed, will have warmer and drier feet this winter.”

She also thanked all the volunteers at the HDH site who sorted and organized donations, along with those at St. Mary’s Cathedral who ran the distribution centre, greeting each visitor with coffee and cookies, along with respect, dignity and a helpful attitude.  

“The annual Coat Drive is a project close to our hearts,” says Bardon. “We’re so grateful that staff, volunteers and community members rally every year to support those in need, especially those who might be out on our streets in bone-chilling weather this winter.”