After spending 20 years on the streets, Sandra Lillie wants to help the needy bundle up and stay warm for winter.
Lillie, a first-year horticultural industries student, came to the SA with the idea to collect warm clothing for the coming winter. This is the first year the SA has held a warm clothing drive.
“After meeting Sandra and hearing her story it really inspired us to take this initiative and make it a success,” said Annie Thomlinson, the manager of marketing and communication for the SA.
Lillie was an addict living on the street until she sought help and began to rebuild her life. Now she is pursuing an education at the college and trying to improve the lives of others as well.
The SA is collecting warm clothing to be donated to the Shepherds of Good Hope and the Ottawa Mission. The donations will be given to the poor and homeless in Ottawa.
Lillie said they will accept any donations they can get but some articles of clothing are more useful than others. Winter jackets, hoodies, socks and other warm clothing are preferred. Children’s clothes are also needed.
“How many people have an extra hoodie sitting in their closet or something their parents bought them but they never wear?” asked Lillie.
“If we can pay three grand for tuition we can give away a sweater,” said Lillie.
Lillie said she was inspired to start the clothing drive after she heard that a friend was stabbed downtown outside a Salvation Army. That was the final push she needed to start giving back more and helping the less fortunate.
“I want to show people I’m here to support them and that it’s okay to reach out and ask for help,” said Lillie.
They’re also looking for financial donations to buy lunches for people in need, but Lillie understands that most students might not have much money to donate.
“When you’re on the street, you’re completely hopeless.
“If someone can help you even just with a warm jacket, it can make a big difference,” said Lillie.
Heather Notman, a volunteer for the clothing drive, said that there are always people in need of support and the sooner people can donate clothing, the better.
The SA will be collecting clothing every Wednesday in November between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Student Commons.
Annie Thomlinson, SA manager of marketing and communication
Sandra Lillie, organizer
Heather Notman, volunteer