5 Reasons Why EVERYONE Needs Clean Underwear

…Especially those who are homeless.

New underwear is one of the most requested items by people who use our services, but one of the least donated. Men and women are often denied their request for undergarments because we simply have none to give.

Women are especially likely to be denied since women’s underwear is less frequently donated than men’s. When possible, they are offered the alternative of wearing men’s underwear, an experience that, apart from being physically uncomfortable, causes embarrassment and a reduced sense of self-worth. Our #DropYourGonch campaign aims to fill this desperate need by stocking our Community Closet full of clean, fresh underwear for participants to use.

We all know that it’s important to change our underwear every day, but some of the reasons why may surprise you. Here is a list of five reasons why clean underwear is critical for a person’s physical and emotional well-being.

1. Hygiene

Not changing your underwear regularly causes microbes and other bacteria to accumulate and fester, often causing an embarrassing odour and an itchy rash on the skin. To maintain hygiene and cleanliness, fresh underwear is a non-negotiable essential.

2. Health

Wearing the same underwear for an extended period of time can also have severe consequences for your personal health. The microbes and bacteria mentioned above can cause dangerous infections if they stay in contact with the skin for long periods of time, and the most serious of these can even lead to deadly conditions like kidney failure or bladder cancer. Clean underwear is more than a convenience; it is imperative to one’s health, and can even save lives!

3. Comfort

We offer free shower services at our Drop-in Centre, meaning participants who come in can get soap, shampoo, a razor, and other personal hygiene items, enjoy a hot shower, and leave feeling squeaky clean. And what’s the best part about taking a shower? Slipping into that nice, clean, fresh pair of undies when you’re done, of course! Our objective is to be able to provide every participant who uses our shower services with a clean pair of underwear. With your help, we can offer every participant that “just-showered-and-slipped-into-a-fresh-pair-of-undies” feeling, lending at least one small comfort to the people who need it most.

4. Self-confidence

The unpleasant odours and other adverse health effects caused by dirty undergarments can create something of a psychological barrier between the wearer and other people. Inevitably, the individual’s self-esteem and comfort in social interactions may suffer as a result. This impediment can be especially detrimental when it comes to significant interactions, like job interviews – situations that are already stressful enough without any added worries! A clean pair of undies allows the wearer the confidence they need to have successful relationships and social interactions.

5. Dignity

A clean pair of underwear can go a long way toward restoring an individual’s sense of dignity. The emotional toll of having to wear the same set of dirty undergarments for days, weeks, or months on end can be debilitating. A clean pair of underwear is more than a physical necessity – it can provide the recipient with a rejuvenated sense of dignity and self-worth. What gift could be more meaningful?

It’s easy to take for granted something as always having clean undergarments to wear every day. But for many people lacking basic life necessities, something so small really can make all the difference.

You can help!
Donate underwear today!

#DropYourGonch to Support Edmonton’s Homeless!

UPDATE: Because of your help, we collected 2,154 pairs of NEW underwear for the homeless folks in our community. That’s 1,154 above our initial goal of 1,000!

Thank You!!

We are excited to host our 2nd Annual #DropYourGonch underwear campaign encouraging the public to donate NEW underwear for homeless people in Edmonton.

The campaign starts Monday, July 20th and wraps up with a main event on Saturday, July 25th at our Thrift Shoppe (8818-118th Avenue) from 10:00am – 4:00pm.

The goal of the campaign is to collect 1,000 pairs of NEW underwear to meet the need through to the end of summer.

Underwear is one of the most asked for clothing items by people in the inner-city community, but one of the least donated.

“We are critically low and can’t fill the need at this moment”

— Devin Komarniski, Manager of Marketing and Communications

The campaign also promotes health and hygiene, while boosting self-esteem and confidence, which are crucial for people who are transitioning out of homelessness. People living on the streets may go months without a new pair of underwear, which creates discomfort and a lack of dignity as they struggle to get off the streets.

For more information about drop-off locations, how to donate online, and to learn more about the campaign, please visit our webpage.

Help provide a Thanksgiving Dinner for our community members this year!

ShineFM’s 6th Annual “Turkey Raiser” – Totes for Turkeys Event– is back! 105.9 ShineFM and AM930 The Light partners with Save-on-Foods locations throughout the city and surrounding areas to help local charities raise turkeys and funds to help with their community Thanksgiving dinner. Bissell Centre will also be giving turkeys for low-income families so they can have a joyous thanksgiving at home. You can donate a turkey or gift card in-store for the chosen charities and in return you receive a tote bag. In past years, the stations have raised upwards of 900 turkeys on this one-day event! This year Bissell Centre, along with Edmonton’s Meals on Wheels, will join in this important fundraising endeavour so that hundreds of mouths can be fed this Thanksgiving.

Listen to the event interview with Bissell Centre on Shine FM and please spread the word on Twitter with hashtag #totes4turkeys!

Date: Saturday, Oct. 4th

Time: 12:00 – 6:00pm

Save on Foods Locations:

  1. Hampton (6260 199th St. NW)
  2. Calgary Trail (3361 Calgary Trail South)
  3. Summerwood (#10 4005 Cloverbar Rd, Sherwood Park)
  4. Oxford (12903 153 Ave NW)
  5. Stadium (8124 112 Avenue)

If you want to volunteer, please click here or contact Darren Brennan at dbrennan@bissellcentre.org or by phone at 780.423.2285. ext. 129.

For more information about the event, please visit shinefm.com/turkeys.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity

Bissell Centre and Boyle Street Community League are co-hosting a two-day event on Friday, September 26th (6:00pm – 8:30pm) and Saturday, September 27th (12:00pm – 8:45pm) in celebration of Alberta Culture Days 2014. This event takes place at the Boyle Street Community League located at 9538 – 103A Avenue and brings together two community agencies to honour cultural diversity in our city. We encourage you to come and experience the live music, performances, and cultural presentations!  Now in its seventh year, Alberta Culture Days is the province’s largest celebration of the arts, heritage, diversity and community spirit with the Boyle Street Community League and Bissell Centre hosting an event for the first time. This annual event is as much about family and community, as it is about cultural vibrancy.

For more information, please contact Amanda Almeida, Manager of Community Participation and Volunteer Services, at aalmeida@bissellcentre.org.

We smashed our goal of $25,000 for #RestoreBissell Fire Relief fundraiser!


Together, we raised $33,720!! That’s $8,720 over and above our $25,000 goal. We are so grateful!

A special thank you to Lift Interactive for creating the #RestoreBissell micro-site, and Servus Credit Union for their generous $15,000 matching donation. And last, but most certainly not least, our community of supporters and advocates. You tweeted, you blogged, you Instagram’d—and you donated.

Thank you so very much!

We are almost at our goal of $25,000 for #RestoreBissell Fire Relief Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone for continuing to support our #RestoreBissell fire relief fundraiser. We are only $5,500 away from our goal of $25,000 that will help us to re-open the doors to our Thrift Shoppe in late October after it was damaged by fire.Servus Credit Union will match your donation up to $15,000 and your continued support could potentially help us exceed our goal! The fundraiser ends on Friday, August 8th.

Please donate online at restorebissell.org and help spread the word using hashtag #RestoreBissell.

For more information, please contact:

Devin Komarniski Acting Manager of Marketing & Communications: dkomarniski@bissellcentre.org

Servus Credit Union to double your donations for #RestoreBissell fundraiser!

Bissell Centre is proud to announce Servus Credit Union as a matching donor for the #RestoreBissell fire relief fundraiser. They will double your donations until the end of the campaign on August 8th to help reach our goal of $25,000 to re-open our Thrift Shoppe in late October. We are currently at 30% of our goal and we encourage you to please donate at restorebissell.org.

“The Bissell Centre takes it upon themselves to provide an essential service to the community by working with their partners. That’s quite similar to how Servus operates and when we heard they had another setback, I think we all gasped a little in disbelief,” says Dan Bruinooge, Chief People & Corporate Services Officer.

He adds that’s why supporting the Bissell Centre’s fund raising campaign makes so much sense to us. “Servus could have looked for other ways to help them out but we chose this because we want to make sure they get back on their feet quickly and we hope that many others make that choice as well by donating today”.

When organizations like the Bissell Centre are supported, we all benefit.

#RestoreBissell fire relief fundraiser is a two-week online event where we need your help to raise $25,000 to re-open the doors to our original Thrift Shoppe for late October.

The online fundraiser started Monday, July 28th and runs until Friday, August 8th. Please donate at restorebissell.org and spread the word using hashtag #RestoreBissell.

For more information, please contact:

Devin Komarniski Acting Manager of Marketing & Communications dkomarniski@bissellcentre.org

Help us reach our goal of $25,000 to re-open our Thrift Shoppe after devastating fire

When we experienced a fire to our original Thrift Shoppe in September 2013, we were left scrambling to provide important services. When a second fire hit nine months later at our temporary location on June 21, 2014, we were left devastated. #RestoreBissell fire relief fundraiser is a two-week online event where we need your help to raise $25,000 to re-open the doors to our original Thrift Shoppe for late October.

The online fundraiser starts Monday, July 28th and runs until Friday, August 8th. We encourage you to please donate at restorebissell.organd spread the word using hashtag #RestoreBissell.

The re-opening of the store is vital because it provides $60,000 in annual revenue after expenses to support various Bissell Centre programs and services. With an estimated 100,000 articles of clothing lost in the fire, it interrupted the flow of clothing to our inner-city Community Closet, which provides free clothes to low-income families and individuals. When the store closed due to the fire, 5,000-6,000 monthly customers were forced to look elsewhere for affordable clothing and household goods.

For more information, please contact:

Devin Komarniski Acting Manager of Marketing & Communications 780.423.2285, Ext 131 dkomarniski@bissellcentre.org

#DropYourGonch…to support the homeless in Edmonton!

Bissell Centre and Mayfield Toyota hosts #DropYourGonch, a one-day underwear drive event urging the public to donate new underwear for the homeless in Edmonton. Free food will be provided by Century Hospitality and there will also be entertainment and door prizes.

The goal of the event is to collect 1,000 pairs of new underwear in support of Bissell Centre to provide comfort for people in need!

Underwear is one of the most asked for clothing items by those who are homeless, but one of the least donated. By reaching our goal of 1,000 pairs of new underwear it would allow us to provide approximately 20 fresh pairs to people in need every day throughout the summer.

A gift of new undies would mean so much and we’d love it if you’d join us!

#DropYourGonch Event Details:

When: Saturday, June 21st

Where: Mayfield Toyota (10220-170 street)

Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm

For more information about the event, please click here or contact Devin Komarniski, Acting Manager of Marketing & Communications, at dkomarniski@bissellcentre.org.

Bissell Centre in Need of Clothing!

C4b-H-borderlessBissell Centre kicks off spring with our #Clothes4Bissell clothing drive for individuals and families who are living in poverty.
Our spring clothing drive starts Tuesday, April 29th and wraps up at Riverbend Square Shopping Centre on Saturday, May 3rd from 10:00am – 3:00pm. We encourage you to clean out your closets and please donate your new or gently items for a good cause!

Check out our #Clothes4Bissell photo contest for your chance to win one of two $100 gift cards from @Bamboo_Ballroom and @FooshYEG! Details here!


  • Men’s clothing (all sizes)
  • Spring jackets
  • Hoodies
  • Track pants
  • Shorts
  • Footwear
  • Adult underwear & socks (NEW)


  • Kitchenware items
  • Bedding & Linens
  • Small appliances
  • Home Decor items
  • Children’s toys


  • Thrift Shoppe (11817 80 Street) Monday – Saturday 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • South Side Donation Centre (5120 – 122 Street) Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Riverbend Square Shopping Centre (Saturday, May 3rd ONLY) 740 Riverbend Square 10:00am – 3:00pm

For more information, please contact Devin Komarniski, Acting Manager of Marketing & Communications, at dkomarniski@bissellcentre.org or by phone at 780.423.2285. ext. 131