REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive
The 25th annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive helps keep 40,000 people warm
More than 40,000 Lower Mainland residents have received blankets and warm clothing this month thanks to donations collected during the 25th annual REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive.
Between November 18 and 25, over 150 real estate offices across the Lower Mainland served as drop-off locations for donations. REALTOR® volunteers then collected, sorted, and delivered the donations to local charities.
“This year we collected and distributed the largest number of donations since 2010,” Ashley Smith, Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver president said. “Thank you to everyone who donated blankets and warm clothes. The Blanket Drive continues to help thousands of people each year thanks to the generosity of the public and the support of our volunteers.”
All donations remain in the same community in which they are collected. More than 70 Lower Mainland charities received donations from the Blanket Drive this year, including the Richmond House Emergency Shelter, which helps men and women who need emergency accommodation.
“We were happy and grateful to receive your donations of blankets, coats, and clothing,” said David Burgess, manager of Richmond House. “The residents don’t have a lot, so these items mean a lot to them and the shelter.”
The REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive is a partnership between the Realtors of the Fraser Valley, Greater Vancouver, and Chilliwack and District Real Estate Boards and their communities.
The program is the largest and longest running blanket drive in British Columbia. Since it began in 1995, it has helped more than 425,000 people in our communities keep warm and dry during the winter months.
You can still give
Although the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive has finished for another year, your donations are still needed.
Please donate the following items for all ages:
• gently used or new blankets or sleeping bags
• warm clothing, coats
• hats, gloves, scarves
• new socks and underwear
Here's a list of Lower Mainland charities you can take your donations to.
Sharing the warmth for 25 years
How the Blanket Drive helps charities
Here's a list of Lower Mainland charities that receive donations from the Blanket Drive.
The REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive story
Way back in 1994, some caring REALTORS® in Vancouver observed the homeless situation in the city’s eastside and said to themselves, we’ve got to do something.
They put out an appeal to their colleagues for warm blankets and coats and collected enough donations to help 3,000 of Vancouver’s homeless in the downtown core.
That single act of kindness has blossomed into one of the largest annual collections of warm clothing and blankets, helping homeless people and the working poor in every single community in the Lower Mainland.
Since then, thousands of REALTORS® from Whistler to Hope have collected enough donations to help more than 385,000 people in need. Each year, more than 75 dedicated members pick-up and deliver all the donations, and well over 100 real estate offices in the Lower Mainland act as collection depots.
The REALTORS Care® Drive now collects an astonishing amount of warm, winter items on behalf of dozens of local charities to help about 35,000 people each year.
Blanket Drive 20th anniversary quilt
Working together to provide warmth is why a quilt was chosen to represent 2014's Blanket Drive.
The quilt's patchwork design represents how we work with charities to help relieve the strain of poverty of those in need.
In keeping with this theme, a commemorative quilt was made to mark the Blanket Drive's 20th anniversary.
Blocks with names of real estate offices that act as drop-off locations, images from previous Blanket Drive posters, a brief history of this annual event, and the signatures of past and current volunteers make up the design.
Pictured with the quilt are two of the Realtors who founded this program, and volunteers past and present.