Warming your heart, head - Metro US

Warming your heart, head

With a $10 toque, Calgarians can cover their ears and open their hearts to help Calgary’s homeless.

Clad in bright orange vests with matching bags, an army of workers will be roaming downtown selling toques to help Calgary’s homeless youth through the 12th annual Raising the Roof’s Toque Tuesday campaign.

“Together we can end homelessness,” said Tim Richter, president and CEO of Calgary Homeless Foundation.

The funds will benefit the McMan’s Youth Homelessness program, which in part aims to house some of the 65,000 homeless youth in Canada.

Last year, the campaign raised $330,000 across Canada and this year it aims to sell 2,000 toques in Calgary.

“With the proper supports in place, youth can succeed, be housed, and thrive in their communities,” said Sherri Breen, outreach specialist with McMan.

Charlene Cripps, who was homeless for a year after her adoptive family couldn’t care for her, is one of those success stories.

The now 20-year-old said the hardest part was trying to find a place to stay during the winter. She is now finishing her GED, caring for her 13-month-old son, Tony, and living in a nice house with her boyfriend.

“I think people really don’t understand the homeless,” she said.

Toques will be available downtown 7 to 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. between 5th and 9th avenues and between 1st and 6th Street SW. They will also be available inside Bankers Hall, the Petro Canada building and Fifth Avenue Place or in the Calgary Tower until Feb. 28.

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