Story and image by Ana Pautassi
The giving season is right around the corner so why not start now?
Durham Region schools are taking part in the Food for Clothing Exchange. People are asked to donate their used clothing in all sizes both for children and adults by November 3. Clothing can be dropped off at the Village Union Public School in downtown Oshawa.
For 23 years the Food for Clothing exchange program has been providing clothes for people as well as providing food for them.
The idea came about one cold morning when a little girl was walking down the street improperly dressed in sweatpants, rain boots and a light jacket in a temperature of -30°C, explained Jim Fergusson coordinator for the Food for Clothing exchange.
“I started saying, someone should be doing something about this, and like a kick in the pants I was like why don’t you be that somebody, and there is history,” said Fergusson.
The non-perishable food exchanged for the clothing will be given to Simcoe Hall Settlement house, but it is not compulsory to receive clothing.
“There are a lot of people who have a low income who want to keep their dignity and who don’t want to feel they are taking a hand-out,” so that’s why the exchange was created explained Fergusson.
They have had up 11,000 articles of clothing since. They also collect shoes and new socks. If any of the used clothing needs to be dry cleaned it can be dropped off at Carriage Trade Cleaners as well as four other locations where a volunteer from the exchange program will pick it up.
Clothing can be picked up on Saturday November 5 between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. in the school gym.
Volunteers are still needed to set up on Friday. For more information please contact the school.