Coats, gloves, toques and blankets: Wrapped up for the Holidays campaign returns

For the 15th straight year, four local businesses and organizations have partnered together in hopes of distributing gently used coats, gloves, and blankets to those in need.

Parkland Ambulance, Gateway Mall, CTV, and Anderson Chrysler have officially launched the latest Wrapped up for the Holidays donation campaign. Parkland Ambulance spokesman Lyle Karasiuk said they never expected the campaign to last as long as it has, but they’re glad to be wrong.

“We would have never guessed in our wildest dreams that this project would continue to have such great support from the community,” Karasiuk said during a phone interview on Monday.

“We just thank the community each and every day that they come through with us and support us, so that we can re-gift all of these wonderful items back to those who need them.”

Karasiuk said Wrapped up for the Holidays started with the goal of providing blankets for Prince Albert’s homeless community. However, they expanded to winter gear after residents kept bringing in coats to donate too.

“You name it, we get it, if it’s winter related,” Karasiuk said. “I think it just shows the generosity of our community, to support those in need.”

Karasiuk said it’s hard to quantify just how many donations they receive, especially since many items come packaged together in boxes and bags. Last year at Parkland Ambulance, the item pile sat at more than three feet tall by the end of the campaign.

Karasiuk said they’re grateful for the support, especially since they are just one of many community agencies asking for donations. There is a consistent need for winter gear among Prince Albert’s homeless residents, he explained, so it’s encouraging to see the consistent community support.

“They don’t have the luxury you and I have of going to a closet to a coat rack and getting a change of clothes or something else,” he said. “Frankly they’re just living off the street and are very limited in their resources…. we’re going to do our very best to do what we can to help those in need this winter, and make sure that they at least, if they are outdoors, at least they’re warm and safe.”

Parkland Ambulance, CTV, and the Gateway Mall are longtime campaign sponsors. This year, Anderson Chrysler joins as a new member of the team, and Karasiuk said they’re happy to have them on board.

Residents planning on donating to Wrapped up for the Holidays can drop off gently used blankets or winter gear at either Parkland Ambulance location, the CTV offices, Gateway Mall, or Anderson Motors on Sixth Avenue East.

Karasiuk stressed that campaign members do not have the ability to sort through all the donations. He advised anyone who needs winter gear or blankets to visit a local charity instead.

All donations will stay in Prince Albert.

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