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Community clothing swap supports John Howard Society in Cold Lake

On March 10, the community came together for an event aimed at supporting those in need.  

COLD LAKE - On March 10, the community came together for a heartwarming event aimed at supporting those in need.  

Community Social Work Students from Portage College in Cold Lake organized a "Community Clothing Swap," gathering donations of towels, blankets, and warm clothing from generous community members to benefit The John Howard Society.  

The event, held in the hallway between the Energy Centre and Portage College’s Cold Lake campus, saw an outpouring of support and solidarity. 

The cost of admission to the clothing swap was a voluntary donation of clothing items or other necessities needed by the organization.  

Lyla Allan, coordinator of community social work at Portage College, shed light on the initiative's purpose and impact. She explained, "[Students’] task is to find a nonprofit or an organization in the community that would like their assistance, or they create something that will help the organization."  

Students must plan and coordinate the project, draft proposals and budgets and engage with partner organizations. 

Regarding the clothing swap, Allan described how the students collaborated with The John Howard Society to create a platform where individuals could exchange clothing items. Participants were encouraged to bring clean clothing, shoes, towels, socks, and mittens for swapping. The response was overwhelming, with many people contributing bags of items as part of their spring-cleaning efforts. 

"All of this is about teaching students to connect with local agencies, understand community resources, and actively engage with the community."  

Allan emphasized the value of such experiences in not only helping those in need but also opening doors for students in terms of future opportunities and career paths. 

The event garnered significant support, with over 400 pounds of clothes, numerous blankets and towels, a bag of laundry detergent, and a remarkable donation of $560 collected at the swap that was then donated to the John Howard Society. 


Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Chantel Downes is a graduate of The King's University, with a passion for writing and storytelling. Originally from Edmonton, she received her degree in English and has a minor in communications.
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