The gift of warmth

Even after hearing countless stories of the hardship of living on thestreets, Ottawa Mission volunteer Ross Munro can’t imagine what itwould be like to be homeless in the winter.

Even after hearing countless stories of the hardship of living on the streets, Ottawa Mission volunteer Ross Munro can’t imagine what it would be like to be homeless in the winter.

“Even when you hear about the stuff people go through, I can’t imagine what it must be like on a cold winter’s night to try to find a doorway out of the wind or under a bridge to keep warm,” he said.

A retired teacher from Notre Dame High School, Munro gathered all five Broadview Avenue schools — Nepean High School, Broadview Public School, Hillel Academy, Yitzhak Rabin High School and Notre Dame High School — to collect socks for the Ottawa Mission.

Students embraced the idea, and yesterday, hundreds of students gathered to show the thousands of items — including socks, underwear, hats, mitts, scarves, sweaters, coats, and items for women and children that will be distributed to other shelters — that they’d collected.

“It’s gone far beyond what I expected,” said Munro, who had tears in his eyes yesterday.

“When you get young people who want to contribute, you can’t stop them.”

He’s grateful for the items, for which there is “a tremendous need.”

Students really embraced the project, said Yitzhak Rabin High School principal Cynthia Bates.

“It’s a really good opportunity for them to be exposed to the fact that there are people who are cold in the winter, who don’t have adequate clothing,” she said. “This is a chance for them to step up and do something about it.”

Notre Dame teacher Vanessa Jolley said the school gathered 1,268 pieces of clothing.

The message certainly touched Notre Dame student Stephanie Roberts, 12. “Even standing out here today, people are freezing and they have coats,” she said. “There are people on the streets that don’t have a coat and they don’t have a home.”

Munro said he hopes this will become an annual event.

 
 
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