Over the years ChangeEverything.ca has been doing much more than blog about social and environmental causes — they’ve been taking action. Three years ago contributor Kate Dugas decided to take to the streets of Vancouver, moving from the online realm into a real life situation where support was greatly needed.
I thought about collecting some clothes and blankets from my house and bringing them to local shelters and quickly realized that I couldnâ€™t drive my 20 year old car with its all-season tires anywhere. I was stuck. It felt pretty awful to want to do something to help but to have barrier like this get in the way. I imagined that others were probably having a similar experience â€“ and since I wasnâ€™t about to be stopped, I decided to use ChangeEverything.ca as it was designed â€“ to make some changes happen.
Kate then wrote this blog post encouraging others to look through their closets and drawers for items they could donate and then she personally went around the city to collect. She got support from the Cooperative Auto Network so she could make the pickups and deliveries, got mainstream media coverage, and connected with volunteers like Phil.
The results were outstanding: 1 blog posting = 3 volunteers = over 4,000 items donated to local shelters in 48 hours.
Since 2006 Kate has kept the campaign going, and growing. “This is my fourth year using the powerful ChangeEverything.ca to collect items of warmth for people in Vancouverâ€™s DTES,” she told me. “The campaign gains more and more momentum with each year. This year the Vancity branch network have agreed to all place â€˜Got Socks?â€™ boxes in their branches, so now all our members can participate in the campaign on the ground too. It feels good.” With the full support of Vancity (who powers the ChangeEverything.ca community website) it makes donation collection through their branches possible.
You can help the less fortunate get through those bone-chilling winter nights this season by donating to the Got Sock? campaign. Cold wet feet are not only unbearable but a health hazard, especially in the winter. Got Socks? will take mis-matched socks, clean socks, and those that are in good condition. Even better, they’ll take new socks that you purchased specifically for this campaign. You can contact Kate through the ChangeEverything website or stop by your local Vancity branch to drop them off.
Kate says, “Each pair will totally make a difference. Itâ€™s true. Believe it.”
Update: December 21, 2009 — I just received the following update:
After hearing that many homeless people get sick and some have even died from having cold, wet feet for five months of the year Kate Dugas of Vancity’s ChangeEverything.ca asked for socks in her annual campaign to benefit Triage Emergency Services in the Downtown Eastside. Vancity members and employees didnâ€™t disappoint: after hours of counting, Kate (that’s her in the attached pic) has over 4000 pairs of socks for people living on the streets.
She will deliver the socks tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec 22 about 2 pm.
Kate used Vancityâ€™s ChangeEverything.ca website, of which she is the moderator, to engage the community in the Got Socks? campaign. Vancity members made contributions through Vancity branches and employees held friendly competitions between departments to see who could collect the most socks.
You can still donate by dropping of new or gently used socks to Vancity’s Head Office 183 Terminal, any Vancity branch or come to Triage at 707 Powell Street Tuesday around 2:00pm.