What a few volunteers had to say about the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive this year

Every year, as our weather changes from wet to wetter and cold to colder, a group of dedicated REALTORS® from the Fraser Valley act like Santa’s elves – bringing a touch of warmth to people in our communities one bag at a time.

Although the REALTORS Care® Blanket Drive ran from November 14 to 21 officially, our volunteers visited over forty real estate offices before the Drive started and for days afterwards. They dropped off supplies and picked up bags of weather appropriate clothing and blankets for nearly thirty non-profit and charity groups. Many individuals who are working but need help, recovering from addiction or abuse, raising a family as a single parent, living on the cold streets and struggling seniors received an item to help them live more comfortably, thanks to you and to our volunteers.

Forty one volunteers collected 1,000 bags of donations and though we did not reach last year’s total of 1,012 bags or the 2,187 bags that were collected in our record-breaking 2010 year, all of our volunteers and donors should be proud of their efforts.

Many of our volunteers feel a strong sense of accomplishment when they help out with the Drive and feel they’re making a noticeable difference in their communities. These efforts are certainly appreciated by the groups we support during our Drive.

Wagner Hills Farm Society, one of the non-profit groups in Langley that received our donations says, “Thank you so much for the blankets, the guys here at our mens’ campus were overjoyed and in awe of the contributions that were delivered here. Thank you, [to] your staff and volunteers for taking the time and putting in the effort to make a difference in the lives of our men and women.” Wagner Hills is committed to providing a place of healing, growth and transformation for both men and women with addiction.

In order to get a sense of how the Drive went this year from the volunteers themselves, we asked some questions. We agreed to keep their identity anonymous for their privacy.

  Volunteer #1 Volunteer #2 Volunteer #3
How many years have you been helping with the Drive? I really don’t remember but a long time! I can’t remember! 13 years
What motivates you to help? Just knowing that I have made a little bit of difference. It helps people and I meet wonderful people. To give back to the community where I am earning.
What experiences on the Drive have touched you the most? The other day, I went to drop off donations to NightShift Street Ministries. There were two people outside of the facility that looked like they were homeless. One of them asked if I had any blankets for the two of them. So I gave them two blankets. That made him happy. His words were thank you very much God bless you.

That made my day. I also need reminders to be grateful for the littlest things in life.

On the downside – seeing the conditions that people are living in.

On the up side – meeting the many warm and caring people involved.

Volunteer resource department at Surrey Memorial Hospital is very happy to receive brand new jackets.
What would you say to other Realtors interested in helping with the Drive? Don’t sit around the outside. Get in and help. It’s another reason for you to go see your clients. There are people out there that would be grateful for something in your closet that you have been hanging onto but never will wear. Give, give, give. And you will receive in abundance. It is an amazing feeling to help where you can. It is rewarding in so many ways. It is interesting to watch new volunteers make that discovery. Other Realtors also should come forward, at least one Realtor from each office.
What would you like to say to members or others who donated to the Drive? Thank you. We all do our part. But giving is what it’s all about. For those that give much shall receive much. Thank you – your generosity is amazing! You have donated for a worthy cause and it will go a long way.

Thanks to all members, volunteers and offices for supporting this year’s Blanket Drive. If you still have items to donate, please consider delivering them to one of our Blanket Drive non-profit and charity groups. Visit our website www.blanketdrive.ca for more information on our annual event.