As the cold, snowy Calgary winter months roll around, staying warm is at the top of everyone’s priority list – and for Dixie-Rae Wilson, helping people keep warm is a no-brainer.
Wilson is holding a blanket drive for the homeless and she has some lofty goals: 1,000 blankets to be exact.
“It’s freezing here and I think everybody likes to have a blanket. I call it a little personal hug,” Wilson told Calgary Buzz.
“A lot of these people who are living outside or even in the shelters aren’t always guaranteed a bed, so they’re literally sleeping on the floor in whatever clothing they have on their back.”
For Wilson, giving is in her blood. Every month for the past nine years, she hits the streets with a team of people to hand out baked potatoes with sour cream, chives, bacon bits, and butter as well as cups of hot coffee or cocoa to people on the streets, and it doesn’t stop there. Her “Spud Buds” crew, as they’re known, also hand out socks, toiletries, jackets, work boots, and an array of other necessary items.
As a child of the foster care system, Wilson knows what it’s like to struggle. She and her brother and sister moved from home to home constantly and largely relied on welfare cheques and food banks to sustain them.
At Christmas time, Spud Buds always tries to give away something special, and this year, it’s the blankets homeless people so desperately need, accompanied by a holiday card.
“It’s freezing here. A good blanket is a tiny gesture, but it’s something,” she said.
Wilson will be handing out the blankets she’s collecting on December 12 at the Drop-in Centre on Dermot Baldwin Way SE, but before that, she needs your help.
If you have new or lightly used blankets you’d like to donate, contact Wilson by email at [email protected] or by phone at 403-399-3523.