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Calgary coat drive to help women leaving domestic violence

Parker PR accepting coats for the Brenda Strafford Centre

The number of clients the Brenda Strafford Centre, a shelter for women and children at risk of family violence, has helped this year is on the rise.

With that comes a growing need to provide warm winter coats to women and children in need.

Calgary company, Parker PR, is acting as a hub this year to connect members of the public and the business community with the Brenda Strafford Centre. They’re doing so by collecting gently used and brand-new coats at their headquarters in Kensington.

“We’re doing this because this year it’s been very challenging for the shelter, as they’ve seen increased numbers as well as increased time spent in the shelter,” said Ellen Parker, CEO of Parker PR.

“They have close to 300 individuals who call the Brenda Strafford home, and of that number, 175 are children.”

Coats can be dropped off at 1121A Kensington Road, starting on Nov. 14. The firm is collecting the coats until Nov. 30.

“They’ll keep the kids warm and cozy, and the women warm as well as ready to go and apply for a job confidently,” Parker said.

Partnerships with community groups, businesses welcomed

Parker said that they are welcoming community groups, businesses, and individuals to donate.

They have had interest from retailers like Holt Renfrew to donate coats, she said.

“We’ve had interest from other partners in our community who are encouraging their staff to bring coats in and then they can deliver a whole group of coats at once,” Parker said.

“There’s lots of ways to get involved as a corporation or as an individual.”

All of the coats will be cleaned by Fishman’s Personal Care Cleaners prior to being donated to the centre on December 1.

Parker said that donating coats this winter would provide people looking for an opportunity to make a difference this winter, to actually make a difference.

“Now everyone has the opportunity to feel joy and feel fulfillment by also doing good work themselves,” she said.