Join us this holiday season in our quest to eliminate poverty and homelessness in our community.
Here are 7 simple ways you can make a big impact!
1. Provide Life-Changing Gifts
Choose a meaningful gift from our Holiday Gift Guide to benefit people struggling with poverty in our community. Your gift will make a difference in someone’s life.
2. Have Your gifts Wrapped in Support of Bissell Centre
Between November 12th and December 24th, for a minimum donation of $2, get your Christmas gifts wrapped at Southgate Centre.
3. Volunteer with Us–Become a Bissell Elf!
We are looking for hundreds of volunteers to help us with a variety of special events. These “Bissell Elves” will take part sorting donations, wrapping gifts, serving meals, and spreading good cheer alongside enthusiastic Bissell Elf Captains, who will help lead the way.
4. Turn Your Christmas Event into a Fundraiser!
This Christmas season, when you host a staff event or dinner party, you can also give to people in need. Find everything you need to host a Bissell Giving Tree Party!
5. Donate Warm Winter Clothing
Every year, Bissell Centre hands out over 35,000 articles of clothing free of charge to people. During the cold season, items such as winter coats, hats, and boots can be the difference between life and death. Donate your gently used goods to help someone in need.
6. Make a Gift on Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29th)!
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about finding the deals. Consider donating the difference you saved to help people living in poverty. Your gift will impact those who rely on Bissell Centre for help. Please donate here today!
7. Share and Advocate!
Spread the word! Advocacy in all its forms helps ensure that vulnerable people get the support they need to move from poverty to prosperity. So tell your family, friends, and colleagues about these easy ways to support Bissell Centre this season!
What started as a casual pastime has now become one of Edmonton’s most anticipated yearly clothing drives. From November 1st until Christmas Day, Jasmine and her husband Ryan will spend their evenings and weekends collecting donations of warm winter clothing for #BundleUpYEG, an annual project that Jasmine initiated in 2013.
“I had just finished one job and I was moving into another, and I had this two-week layover period where I had no work to do,” she explains. “I’m not someone who can just do nothing when I’m bored.”
That’s when inspiration struck. After seeing a news story about the need for winter clothing among Edmonton’s homeless population, Jasmine knew how she wanted to spend her free time. Reaching out to her large following on social media, she asked if anyone had unneeded coats, hats, scarves, mittens, or sweaters, which she offered to pick up and drop off at organizations in the community that help homeless people, like Bissell Centre. Jasmine’s instincts were right. People often want to donate but find it difficult or inconvenient. “Time is the biggest thing,”” she suggests. “The world moves very quickly these days; everyone has something to do and somewhere to be.”
But time is not the only obstacle to donating. As Jasmine explains, “You can get caught up on who to donate to and where to go, and that can be very daunting. We try to remove that step for people.” Making it easier for people to donate has been met with more success than Jasmine anticipated; she says that she has been amazed at the generosity of her community. “I think it’s a huge testament to Edmonton and the people who live here,” she says.
The need in our community for warm clothing over the harsh winter months is as urgent as ever. Approximately 2,300 people living in Edmonton are temporarily or chronically homeless, and for them, winter can be deadly without proper clothing. “People on the streets are susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia, and sickness due to overexposure,” says Nichelle Bryant, In-Kind Coordinator at Bissell Centre. “During the winter, we can easily see upwards of 500 people every day accessing our Drop-in Centre, with a high majority of them needing winter clothing to keep them safe and warm overnight.” For places like Bissell Centre, Jasmine’s #BundleUpYEG initiative can mean the difference between having to turn people away or being able to offer warm clothing all winter long.
To date, #BundleUpYEG has donated roughly 370 bags—over 4,000 individual items—of clothing to homeless shelters and supported organizations in the community. This will be the fourth year that Jasmine and Ryan will organize #BundleUpYEG, this time with the goal of collecting 130 bags of clothing. You can help Jasmine reach her goal by contacting her via email (firstname.lastname@example.org), on Twitter (@JasFranklin09), online at bundleupyeg.com, or by dropping your donations off at any of the following locations.
- November 1st–December 2nd: 102.3 Now! Radio: Suite 102, 9894-42 Avenue
- November 1st–mid-December: Blitz Conditioning: 10575 115 Street
- November 25th–December 24th: Kingsway Mall, Giftwrapping Centre: 109 Street & Kingsway