Fanshawe warms more than hearts

Header image for the article Fanshawe warms more than hearts Credit: FANSHAWE COLLEGE
Peter Gilbert and Jennifer McLean were the chairs of this year's "warmth kits" campaign.

Thanks to the Fanshawe community, the college was able to donate 45 winter care kits to the Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre (CNRC) located at 550 Hamilton Rd. Items included hats, gloves, socks, hand warmers, hygiene and health supplies such as bandages, tooth care, soap and lotions, tissues, and sanitizer as well as cookies, nuts, granola bars, crackers, and chocolates. This year’s campaign chairs were Jennifer McLean (Associate Dean of Fanshawe’s Woodstock/ Oxford Regional Campus) and Peter Gilbert, Chief Infrastructure Officer overseeing Facilities and IT Services. Both oversee Fanshawe’s United Way Campaign and all related activities including the CNRC “warmth kits” initiative. Fanshawe is a strong supporter of United Way each year, providing more than $120,000 annually to those in need in the community.

Both McLean and Gilbert said they were proud of their work with Crouch and its support for locals in need.

“We were made aware that the CNRC is unique in how they meet the needs of the community,” said Gilbert.

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“Crouch, is not just for a focused group of people, they are open to anybody in the community-they can come by and pick up food or diapers or the warmth kits,” added McLean. “The resource centre is a tiny room in a building with a couple of desks, it’s got big refrigerators full of food and cupboards of stuff that is there to hand out to people as they need it.”

The resource centre came across as a much-needed space for the local area.

“It’s very much a grassroots, front line support for the local community,” said Gilbert.

“The really special thing about the Crouch Centre is the immediacy of it,” said McLean. “You are not handed a voucher, it’s ‘here, go put the mittens on your hands right now.’”/p> McLean added that The United Way has indicated that one of the most needed items in the warmth kits is socks.

“Your feet get cold and wet and you have no way of drying them, so you need more than one pair of socks,” she said. “Socks are a big thing if you are out on the streets and you are homeless.”

Get involved

Although the warmth kits campaign has ended, Gilbert said that the most effective way for students to get involved is to donate to the United Way whenever you are shopping at any Fanshawe retail outlet. A little from a lot of people is what makes a huge impact on the community. The United Way is a wraparound charity that is directly involved with all local supports. They provide those in need with diapers, feminine hygiene, healthcare or whatever else they need. Fanshawe works directly with the United Way to support initiatives like the CNRC.