Downtown resident Angela Gauthier is collecting warm winter clothes and blankets this week to hand out to vulnerable people in Chilliwack.
“I have given away every extra sweatshirt and jacket that I have,” Gauthier said, “so I need a few more to have on-hand now that it’s starting to get colder.”
Gauthier said she felt compelled to take up a collection as she sat on her patio overlooking the busy street and spotted someone walking by in a t-shirt — with no coat on. It wasn’t the first time.
“It’s really heartbreaking. I’m right here in the crux of it all,” Gauthier said. “Last night I found a young woman who’s only 19 staying outside, who asked me for a blanket.”
As a mom, and as the widow of a drug addict, Gauthier said she understands full well what the people she meets on the streets are going through.
“I can’t just stay in my tower and not help out,” she added.
Gauthier posted a simple online request for help from her friends, reminding everyone she is not in any way trying to enable or encourage anyone to stay on the streets.
“I try to encourage them to go into a shelter and get sober,” Gauthier wrote. “But I also cannot sit by in my nice warm home and watch people freeze. Any donations will be given to the most vulnerable when needed and much appreciated.”
Anyone with items to donate can call 604-798-2970. Any leftover items will be donated to the larger blanket drive effort in town.