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Blanket Drive provides warmth as cold snap hits Lower Mainland
For dozens of local charities and the people they help, the November 18 - 25 timing of this year's REALTORS Care Blanket Drive couldn't have been better.For the 19th year in a row, REALTORS collected enough donations of coats, blankets, sleeping bags and warm clothing to help more than 20,000 people as the mercury plummeted."With the cold snap, your donation of blankets, gloves, and warm clothing mean so much to our clients," said Maxine Davis, executive director of the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation. "Some of the recipients have shared with us that their living conditions are very cold right now, so these items were put to immediate use."The Dr. Peter Centre, one of Vancouver's recipient Blanket Drive charities, offers health programs and long-term and supportive housing to individuals with HIV/AIDS requiring specialized care.Another regular beneficiary of the Blanket Drive is the Surrey Memorial Hospital's Patient Resource Department. Every year, the hospital receives winter coats to give to patients who need them.Sharon Frizell is the hospital's manager of volunteer resources. "It's really, really helpful. We could never have enough coats on hand without the REALTORS Care Blanket Drive."Especially at this time of year, there are some people we care for who do not have adequate clothing for the cold weather. The REALTORS Care initiative allows us to offer them a warm coat when they're released so they are protected from the elements."Volunteer REALTORS pick up, sort and deliver donations dropped off by colleagues, clients, the public, corporations, retailers, community groups and schools. The drop-off locations are real estate offices spread across the region, between Whistler and Hope.Since 1994, the Blanket Drive has grown to become the largest collection of its kind in the Lower Mainland. Over the years, the program has assisted more than 225,000 people. www.blanketdrive.ca www.facebook.com/blanketdrive www.twitter.com/FVREB and www.twitter.com/REBGV (#RCBD)Reposted from fvreb.bc.ca
No Scaredy-Cats Allowed
Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let's face it; it can be a downright nightmare! Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.1. Trick-or-treat candies are NOT for pets.All forms or chocolate -- especially baking or dark chocolate -- can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it's better to be safe than sorry.2. Don't leave pets out n the yard on Halloween.Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxious and growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night, a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plans can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins ...6. Don't keep lit pumpkins around pets.Should they get too close they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.7. Keep wires and electric light cords our of reach.If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.8. Don't dress your pet in a costume unless you know they'll love it.If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume make sure it isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.If they seem distressed, allergic or show abnormal behaviour consider letting them go in their "birthday suit". Festive bandanas usually work for party-poopers too.10. IDs please!If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up to date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.
Region's largest warm clothing and Blanket Drive offers first line of defence for thousands in need
19th annual REALTORS Care Blanket Drive collection will run Nov. 18-25.Chances are high that many of the 1,600 homeless people currently living in Vancouver; 400 in Surrey, and 200 in Abbotsford have received a blanket, coat or multiple changes of clothing supplied through the REALTORS Care Blanket Drive.Although the annual Blanket Drive is now so successful it assists thousands of underprivileged in our region by equipping dozens of charities and community service organizations, the original goal of direct distribution to those most in need remains at the heart."What our Blanket Drive does is provide the first line of defence for our most vulnerable citizens living outside," says Vancouver REALTOR and volunteer Louise Boutin. "Many of our recipient charities distribute what we collect right on the streets and regularly see repeat clients coming back for a change of clothes or a sleeping bag to protect them from the rain, cold and concrete."Donna Crocker, a volunteer veteran of the Blanket Drive in North Delta and coordinator of Friendship Providers in Action adds, "I wish that the thousands of individuals, businesses, corporations and REALTORS who donate every year could see the gratitude that we see.""Smiles, hugs, high-fives and sometimes tears of relief because that clean pair of jeans or even a simple pair of gloves can make the difference between sleeping safely and comfortably or being cold and at risk. Most of all, they feel loved and appreciated."The REALTORS Care Blanket Drive - the largest and longest-running in BC - is now scheduled one week earlier in the year to help as many people as possible in advance of the holidays.The dates this year are from November 18 to 25 when REALTORS will collect and deliver enough blankets and warm clothing to 39 charities between Whistler and Hope to help 20,000 people this year ."What we're looking for most is gently-used blankets, coats, gloves, hats, jeans, hoodies and new underwear and socks for both men and women; and whenever possible, smaller waist sizes," explains Chilliwack Drive volunteer Kellee Romaine. "Thank you so much for your support."Special REALTORS Care Blanket Drive donation bags are available at any of the 100 plus participating real estate offices acting as drop-off locations.To find an office nearest you, a list of charitable recipients and see videos of the Drive in action: www.blanketdrive.ca www.facebook.com/blanketdrive www.twitter.com/FVREB or www.twitter.com/REBGV (#RCBD) Donations stay within the communities in which they are donated, or if the volumes are too large, go to charities in greatest need in neighbouring communities. Since 1995, the Blanket Drive has supported at least 200,000 people.