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    • 2015.11.24 Tuesday
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    • by スポンサードリンク

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    Teens to collect warm coats for the homeless

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      It was a cool night in October when 15-year-old Hannah Brown and some of her friends arrived at the Old Brewery Mission, a shelter for the homeless in downtown Montreal.
      She was there with a group of teenagers from the Chabad of Westmount to serve sandwiches, muffins and hot chocolate to the homeless men who were lining up outside to get a room for the night.
      As they accepted thanks from the hungry men, who kept coming back for more food, some of the teens noticed the men were wearing thin, tattered casacos 2013 that would not stand up to a Montreal winter.
      “It shows a different side to Montreal that I didn’t know about,” Hannah said.
      She and the other youths belong to jTeens, a volunteer community service club at the Chabad of Westmount, a Jewish educational outreach centre.
      The visit to the mission was an eye-opening experience for some of the younger teenagers, said Mushky Shanowitz, a volunteer with jTeens.
      “Winter was approaching and some of them were shocked to see that the (men) didn’t have adequate coats or jackets,” she recalled.
      To help make winter a little bit more bearable for those on the streets, the youths decided to launch a winter coat drive.
      They printed flyers and knocked on doors in Westmount to let people know about their campaign. “We said it was for people who don’t have coats for the upcoming winter,” said Zach Friedman, 17, who lives in Hampstead. “They’re fortunate people and there are plenty of coats lying around.”
      The teens arranged pickup dates and returned to the homes to collect the coats.
      After spreading the word through social media, several clothing manufactures pitched in.
      When all the coats were counted, the youths had managed to collect 518 good-quality winter coats, including popular name brands such as North Face, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren.
      The coats were sorted, labelled and packaged into boxes that have been delivered to shelters and clothing banks.
      The students said they are proud of their initiative and certain that the lojas compras online coats will make a difference to people who need them.
      “I have lived in Montreal all my life and I know how cold it gets,” Zach said. “It is not cheap to get a good jacket that will last the winter.”
      Zach said he joined jTeens because he enjoys community service, having previously volunteered at the N.D.G. Food Depot and Share the Warmth.
      Over the last six years, the group has organized food drives, created art murals for women’s shelters, engaged in senior social outreach and raised funds for victims of forest fires and earthquakes.
      “I think it is important to take time out of my day to help other people who are less fortunate,” said Zach. “My parents are pretty philanthropic. My dad opens the door for everyone and helps out people in need.”
      While some of the teens use their hours at jTeens to obtain their community service credits for high school, many remain part of the program long after those requirements have been met.
      Shanowitz said the volunteer program began at the Chabad of Westmount about six years ago to give young Jewish students an opportunity to give back “to the community in a meaningful and fun way.”
      “There is a lot of goodwill,” she said.


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