The Saskatchewan Polytechnic commissionaires have seen to it that clients of Riverside Mission might feel a little more comfortable during this Christmas season.
The group dropped off a large shipment of Stanfield's undergarments at the local shelter on Friday, Dec. 14, a gift that is expected to be exceptionally appreciated as the cold weather continues.
“(Commissionaire) Al (Vance) phoned us and asked us what we needed, and we were really short on underwear and long johns for the guys in the winter,” explained Riverside interim manager Rachel Mullens. “So, when they said they were doing this, it's amazing that we'll be able to offer warm undergarments for everyone.”
The commissionaires gathered donations from their staff for the project, reaching a total of $200. That was good enough to buy 10 men's long johns, 10 fleece hoodies and 13 men's turtlenecks. A donation that would have been appreciated on its own.
Then Stanfield's senior vice president of sales Peter Porteus went a step further, adding a further 50 men's briefs and 50 men's t-shirts to the shipment and paying for shipping on top of it all.
“Not only did they give us a big discount on the underwear, they made a substantial donation of their own,” said Vance. “So Riverside Mission will be able to help a lot of people and we're proud to be a part of that.”
The commissionaires annually select a local group or charity for their Christmas donation, an act that has helped make the holidays just a little brighter for someone over the years.
“We've worked with different organizations and sometimes it's a gift certificate to Superstore for a needy family; we try and help out whoever we can,” Vance said. “This year, it was something most people don't realize that Riverside Mission might need, and it's not something you can really take secondhand... this helps these people feel better about themselves, they're not going to buy something like this with the little money they may have, they're going to buy food.
“So we were able to put this together, and it's absolutely incredible what Stanfield's has done for us and they should be proud of what they've done here.”
As Vance touched on, while clothing is often donated to Riverside Mission, underwear is often on short supply. And when the weather is exceptionally cold or, for instance, you've been a victim of theft, it can make a substantial difference.
“We just had a guy come in this morning saying, 'all my stuff got stolen, all I have is the clothes on my back', so we took him down to the clothing room and were able to get him some stuff,” Mullens said. “And had these been down there he could have had some brand-new underwear and stuff, too.
“This is very surprising because we don't often get this big of a donation of one item. When they called it was great to hear, and it's great to have it on hand and the community take an interest.”
Interestingly enough, the community taking an interest is part of the whole idea.
“What we're trying to do by making this public is maybe get other people coming on board and making donations the same kind of way... I think there's a lot of need, there are a lot of disadvantaged people in the community and this is just the right thing to do, to give back,” Vance said.
To that end, Moose Jaw has already once again come through for Riverside Mission in their time of greatest need.
“Moose Jaw is an amazing community and this December we've had multitudes of things come through, not just underwear, but toiletries and turkeys and oranges... it's just been amazing and a big shout-out to Moose Jaw for all the work they do supporting us,” Mullens said.