Homelessness is a wide-spread, difficult problem to tackle in Vancouver, but one organization hopes to combat it through selling indispensable winter items: toques and mittens.
Toque Tuesday is an annual tradition by Raising the Roof, in partnership with Pacific Community Resources Society and The Lookout Emergency Aid Society. Volunteers hit the streets of Vancouver to sell toques, socks, and mittens with 50% of the sales going to PCRS and Lookout, while Raising the Roof gets the other half for their national campaign.
This year, the 19th annual Toque Tuesday is taking place February 2, so keep your eyes peeled for volunteers outside of SkyTrain stations in Vancouver, New Westminster, and Surrey, as well as the SeaBus station in North Vancouver.
Director of Development at Lookout Society Wes Everaars told Vancity Buzz money raised will go primarily to homeless service providers across Vancouver.
“When we talk about front line, we’re talking about people who are either in outreach services or shelter services, or organizations that are working in support of housing,” said Everaars.
To date, the national campaign has raised 7 million dollars over the last 19 years and includes 187 community partner agencies across Canada. In the end, it’s all about coming up with viable, longterm solutions to end homelessness.
“So when we’re talking about people who are moving forward, that they’re able to move into an independent living situation and are not necessarily relying on supportive housing,” said Everaars.
“We’re seeing more and more of the need to move people up through volunteer opportunities, employment opportunities, or just getting involved within the community that they’re comfortable in.”
And if you’re wondering who you’re helping through the purchase of your $10 or $20 toques, socks, or mittens, just visit Lookout Society’s YouTube page for real stories.
Lookout Society is still searching for volunteers – if you’re interested in helping out, send an email to [email protected]