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Jignasa Anand, the youth program co-ordinator at Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre, stands amid some of the donated winter coats which will be given away to needy people in Hay River.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

A collection of coats and other items to help needy people stay warm in the winter is underway at Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre.

The annual collection began in early October and will continue throughout the colder months.

Shirley Bonnetrouge, the acting executive director of Soaring Eagle, said the items can go to anyone in the community.

“Anybody that needs it,” she said.

Along with coats, the collected items include gloves, hats, neck warmers, socks, boots, insoles and scarves for all ages and genders.

Jignasa Anand, the youth program co-ordinator at Soaring Eagle, said members of the community were very excited about the opportunity to donate to the initiative.

“So we got a good response and we had lots of coats,” she said, noting about 20 coats have already been distributed to needy people.

Anand said many of the donated coats have been for men, while a minimal number have been for women.

There has also not yet been many boots donated.

Bonnetrouge noted she added to the items available to help people through some gift cards donated by St. Andrew’s Anglican Church.

“When we were starting to collect, there weren’t enough hats or mitts,” she said. “So I used one of those gift cards and I bought 10 gloves and 10 hats. The gloves went fast.”

Plus, she used the gift cards to obtain some boots.

Bonnetrouge noted she even used some of the gift cards to buy some food for several homeless men.

Anand noted that Soaring Eagle still has many coats to give away to people who need them.

“So we posted on Facebook that whoever needs it can come and take it,” she said, adding that members of the community are invited to continue to make donations.

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Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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