In its 19th year, Project Winter Survival organized by non-profit Engage and Change, will gather hundreds of volunteers to sort and package 3,000 homeless survival kits. These care packages will be created at The Bargains Group headquarters and distributed to over 170 homeless shelters and charities including The Salvation Army and Canadian Red Cross who provide them to homeless individuals forced to live on the streets of Toronto and the GTA.Â
Shelters and outreach workers are working hard to meet the needs of the homeless throughout the year but winter is especially hard for Toronto’s most vulnerable. Overcrowded conditions at shelters combined with budget cutbacks leave many people stranded and left to fend for themselves against the harsh elements. The kits offer some welcome relief for these individuals and act as a conversation starter.Â
â€œThese survival kits are an important tool in bridging the gap and forming relationships with Torontoâ€™s homeless population,â€� says Jody Steinhauer, Chief Bargain Officer of The Bargains Group. â€œAlthough poverty has no boundaries, these kits provide desperately needed relief for men, women, and children of all ages.â€�Â
Approximately 5,000 people sleep outdoors or in a shelter every night in the GTA and itâ€™s estimated that 1,000 of these individuals are kids. The kits, which include health care and personal items such as food, clothing and sleeping bags offer support but with the number of homeless on the rise, more resources than ever are required to fulfil the growing need.
Â â€œI started Project Winter Survival after identifying a massive gap in Torontoâ€™s homeless population and the relief they receive,â€� says Steinhauer, founder, Engage and Change. â€œToday, the gap continues to grow and I want to encourage all business owners to find a meaningful way to positively contribute and help improve the quality of life for homeless individuals.â€�Â
About The Bargains Group
The company was founded by Jody Steinhauer in 1988 and since then has become a leading Canadian wholesaler of promotional products for nonprofits, retailers and businesses. Quality products are offered for charity-giving, profitable resale and brand building at less than wholesale pricing. The Bargains Group is proud to partner with Engage and Change to organize Project Winter Survival, which helps and brings hope to the homeless in the community.