Foresters warm homeless men

By Geoff Lee

January 10, 2018 12:44 PM

Members of Foresters gathered for a photo op after donating 50 cold winter wear kits with toiletries to the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter on Dec. 30. SUPPLIED PHOTO

Foresters earned their angel wings for another year in the nick of time.
They did it by donating 50 kits filled with toiletries and winter clothing to the Lloydminster Men’s Shelter on a cold Dec. 30 to qualify for another annual funding grant.
Foresters is the trade name of the Independent Order of Foresters (IOF), a fraternal organization based in Toronto Ont. operating under the brand name Foresters Financial.
Its members, including 12 in Lloydminster, can apply for a $2,000 grant each year to support a community cause as they did to purchase the kits.
Barb Berard, the Lloyd group’s legacy leader, chose to assist up to 50 men in the shelter with the temperature plummeting in late December.
“We purchased a bunch of supplies like toques and scarves, gloves and blankets and things like that, and put them all in a kit,” she said.
“We g ave the kits to Heather Gray and she took them with her—she loved it.”
Gray is the executive director at the shelter who distributed kits to men in the shelter numbering 22 at last count, with another 17 kits going to residents of their second stage housing in the Homes for All program.
“That gave us a few extra and we will hand them out as people come in and they need them,” said Gray.
Each of the kits includes essential toiletries such as shaving gear, a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Foresters sourced all the goodie bags online from the Bargains Group Ltd., a discount wholesaler of family clothing and related products that Foresters members recommend.
“I gave them a quick email and they gave me a quick phone call back and they handled everything—they bought and shipped everything direct to my door and all l had to do was package it,” said Berard.
“The hats are all nice polar fleece and the gloves are heavy nylon gloves and there are polar fleece blankets and thermal socks.”
Berard said the local Foresters are hoping to fund at least one, but hopefully, two more projects in 2018.

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