Heat prompts call for bottled water donations at Streets Alive

By Geoff Smith (@GeoffSmithLNN on Twitter)
August 2, 2018 - 10:22am

LETHBRIDGE – Two dollars may not seem like much. But it can make a big difference helping people stay hydrated during the heat wave.

Marie McLennan, associate director of philanthropy with Streets Alive Mission, said people have been buying cases of bottled water for as low as a couple of dollars, to donate to the mission. Temperatures in the 30s have heightened the need to keep people without homes cool and hydrated.

“Because they have such limited access to find a water source, it’s hard for them to even refill a water bottle,” McLennan explained. “So, we try to make sure that we have full bottles of water that they can take with them. We try to give them a couple at a time if we can.”

Members of their team have also been hitting the streets in the late afternoon to distribute bottled water, she said. While a case of 24 goes a long way, she stressed they are running through a lot during the current hot weather.

Mission has urgent need for volunteers

As summer turns to fall, the other urgent need is for people’s time and service.

“So many of our programs are volunteer-based, and so we always have staff people as part of that team, but we are in a major need – we’re in a critical need, actually – for volunteers right now,” she explained.

McLennan said people can help with sorting clothes in their PIN bank, helping with events, breaking down foods into small portions in the emergency pantry, or by making sandwiches. And evenings offer a chance to connect with the mission’s clients.

“There’s our feeding program in the evening, and that’s a great time to really build relationships and get to know people and really start to understand the trouble that they have and how they can help.”

There is a process for volunteer applications. McLennan said people can get started on the Streets Alive website.

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