Special Constables hold cold weather kit initiative
For members of our community experiencing homelessness, cold weather is more than inconvenient and uncomfortable. It is life-threatening.
As winter approaches, Wilfrid Laurier University’s Special Constable Service (SCS) is encouraging students, staff and faculty to consider donating items to their Cold Weather Kit initiative.
“The Special Constable service is seeking donations of items that will help provide warmth and comfort to those in need,” Tammy Lee, director of the SCS, said.
Such items include winter appropriate clothing like toques, gloves/mitts, winter jackets and socks. Additionally, the Laurier community is encouraged to donate hygiene and safety items from big to small like flashlights, toothbrushes and lip balm.
“These [items] will be provided to anyone that special constables encounter during the campus patrol … really anybody who can benefit from this assistance,” Lee said.
“For us, it’s all about recognizing that we have Laurier members who value a strong sense of community and to help those who are facing challenges … to help foster a feeling of belonging.”
In 2020, WLU’s Brantford campus partnered with St. Leonard’s Community Services and the Salvation army to deliver dozens of cold weather kits to people experiencing homelessness.
These [items] will be provided to anyone that special constables encounter during the campus patrol … really anybody who can benefit from this assistance.Tammy Lee, director of the SCS
While the SCS has organized and participated in initiatives like this before, this is the first time the Cold Weather Kit initiative is being rolled out on the Waterloo campus.
Part of the reason for making the Cold Weather Kit initiative a multi-campus effort was to spread the word about this sort of programming.
“We have always had a donation bin that most of the special constables have been involved in, but we’re really trying to include and spread awareness to our external and internal partners as well,” Lee said.
With multi-campus initiatives like this, some individuation is necessary for different locations.
“The Brantford campus will work closely with St. Leonard’s in dividing those kits up, where[as] here in Waterloo, it’s a larger campus. We’ll be doing it on a case-by-case basis and interactions with our community members,” Lee said.
Such interactions happen especially often during the winter months.
“We often have people that are in need on our campus looking for, you know, places to sleep, to stay, to get warm,” Lee said.
“We care about people, so we are doing as much as we can to support those in our community.”
To participate in the Cold Weather Kit initiative, students, staff and faculty can drop off items to the following locations: 232 King St., 81 Lodge St. and the second floor of the Student Services Building (Waterloo); 120 Duke St. W (Kitchener); 45 Market St., the SC Johnson Building and the second floor of the Student Centre (Brantford).