'It just makes you feel good': Friends hit the streets to help those in need
A group of friends from west London, Ont. are giving back to the community one coat, one coffee and one hug at a time.
They hit the streets Friday night as part of a yearly initiative to help those living in rough conditions.
“We pick the coldest day in January, or the coldest weekend, and we just go out and load up the car with donations from all our friends, and make little goodie bags with food and water and just things that people out there on the streets really need,” said Hans Gräber, who organizes the informal event with his partner Jill Fraser.
“We used to drive, we used to go around and see the homeless out there, it just affects me,” said Fraser.
With friends and family members in tow, they loaded up their vehicles with donations and hit the Men’s Mission on York Street. Once in the parking lot, long lineups formed at each car. The response was overwhelming as those staying at the mission and on the street picked up warm clothes, hot coffee or hot chocolate and sandwiches.
There were long lineups for food and clothing donations outside the Men’s Mission in London, Ont. on Jan. 27, 2022 as a group of Londoners handed out donations to those in need. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)
“This helps me get some of my stolen stuff back, so I’m very, very grateful,” said Eric, who recently had all his belongings stolen. “Because I only have maybe one set of pants to wear every single day, and I got two more right now with some jackets so this does help me out very, very much.”
From the Mission it was over to Dundas Street in the Old East Village with more essentials to give away, and no shortage of people in need.
“Well it’s nice actually. More or less try to keep warm out here, right,” said Andrew, who walked away with a coat and a bite to eat.
The group has been doing this for about four years. Fraser said she knows this is merely a band aid, but she said they could no longer turn a blind eye to a glaring need.
“It just makes you feel good to do something and if we can do a small part to help fill a belly tonight and give them a little bit of warmth, then we’re happy,” she said.
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