Kingston Health Sciences Centre, United Way KFL&A and community partners ensure coat drive continues during pandemic
KINGSTON, Ont. (October 20, 2020) – As temperatures continue to drop and winter approaches, coats become a necessity for everyone to stay warm and safe. Many community members rely on donated items to help keep them warm, but with this year’s current pandemic, getting these items to individuals presents new challenges.
Typically, Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) runs a winter Coat Drive through Hotel Dieu Hospital and St. Mary’s Cathedral, where residents can donate and pick up coats on site. This year, however, circumstances are different due to pandemic health protocols now in place, so members of the public are unable to drop off and acquire coats at these locations in the usual way.
Luckily, our amazing community partners have rallied together to continue this important and often life-saving program this year.
“The annual winter Coat Drive is a project close to our hearts and we will be conducting a smaller, internal drive to collect coats from our staff at our Kingston General Hospital (KGH) and Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) sites, which we will then distribute through the St. Mary’s Parish Hall program,” said Elizabeth Bardon, KHSC’s vice-president of mission and strategy integration and support services.
“We know that our usual community-wide model of drop-off and distribution of coats isn’t possible this year due to the pandemic,” Bardon said, “but we’re so grateful that the United Way, the City of Kingston, and various local agencies and partners are coming together and willing to step in to help keep community members warm and safe through the winter season.”
Last year’s drive handed out 2,622 items to residents in need, including 848 coats and 1,774 additional winter accessories, such as socks, mitts, hats, gloves, scarves, blanket and boots. More than 964 people visited the distribution centre, located at St. Mary’s Parish Hall on Brock Street, but the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates a different approach for this year.
“As with the United Way KFL&A United Backpack Campaign this year, the traditional way of getting these items to individuals in need has to be modified. Agencies, staff and volunteers have been quick to step up and support these changes in any way they can – by providing drop-off locations, storage space and volunteers,” said United Way KFL&A President and CEO Bhavana Varma.
“As always, our caring and compassionate community has come together once again to support the most vulnerable of our local population,” Varma said. “Our hope is that community members will continue to give these much-needed items this year by distributing safely through our participating agencies.”
Donations of clean, new or gently used adult coats that are washable will be collected at the following locations from Oct. 26 through Nov. 7. We ask that community members please refrain from donating leather, heavy wool and clothing articles other than coats.
- City of Kingston: 216 Ontario St., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
- Kingston Community Health Centres: #4-26 Weller Ave., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
- Calvin Park Branch: Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL), 88 Wright Cres.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
- Pittsburgh Branch: KFPL, 80 Gore Rd.; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
- Isabel Turner Branch: KFPL, 935 Gardiners Rd.; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
- Kingston Community Health Centres: 26 Dundas St. W., 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
- Morningstar Mission: 59 Water St.; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.
Following collection, coats will be sorted by volunteers and distributed to community members in need through various agencies.
A very special thank you to the City of Kingston, Kingston Community Health Centres, Kingston Frontenac Public Libraries, St. Vincent de Paul, Martha’s Table, Morningstar Mission and Lionhearts, Inc., for their continued support.
For more information about this year’s United Way KFL&A and KHSC Coat Drive, please visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/coatdrive.
About United Way of KFL&A
The United Way KFL&A works with individuals, organizations and key partners in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Region to build and strengthen our shared community, bringing people and resources together to facilitate change for the better. Our vision is a future in which people are self-sufficient in a community, where individuals live with hope, dignity and a sense of belonging. Stay up to date by following our social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn and of course, look for regular updates on our website at www.unitedwaykfla.ca.
About Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC)
KKingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) is southeastern Ontario’s complex, acute and specialty care, research and teaching hospital. Consisting of our Hotel Dieu Hospital (HDH) site and Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site, as well as the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario and our research institute. We care for more than 500,000 patients and their families from across our region. As one of the region’s largest employers, we are home to nearly 5,000 staff, more than 2,000 healthcare learners and 1,000 volunteers who are committed to partnering with patients and families to ensure that we continually provide high quality, compassionate care. Fully affiliated with Queen’s University, we are ranked as one of Canada’s top research hospitals. As a teaching hospital, we attract some of the nation’s brightest learners to pursue their health care education, which helps to create the capacity to provide highly specialized services close to home. We train thousands of students every year and are home to hundreds of researchers whose curiosity drives them to make groundbreaking advancements in health care. Follow us on Twitter @KingstonHSC, follow us on Instagram at @ygkhsc, like us on Facebook @KingstonHSC and for more information on KHSC, please visit our website at www.KingstonHSC.ca.
MEDIA NOTE: Out of respect for physical distancing public health protocol, interviews are being offered with representatives of the United Way KFL&A, Kingston Health Sciences and other community partners via phone, Zoom or Skype.
Manager, Marketing and Communications
United Way KFL&A
Strategic Communications Advisor
Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Office: 613-549-6666, ext. 6875