These United Way-funded organizations welcome winter coat donations, so people who can’t afford cold-weather gear can stay warm
As temperatures plunge, you pull out your woolly hat and mittens and puffy parka for the freezing months ahead. But for many Greater Toronto Area residents experiencing homelessness or poverty, these items can be challenging to find—or afford. Newcomers facing their first Canadian winter are often especially unprepared for when temperatures plummet.
To make a difference this season, consider donating new or gently used warm winter coats and outdoor gear to these United Way Greater Toronto-supported organizations. They serve recent newcomers, people facing homelessness, and neighbourhood residents seeking support with everything from health to education to social connection. And they’ll make sure your winter coat donations reach the people who need them most.
Dixie-Bloor Neighbourhood Centre
Where: 3650 Dixie Rd, Suite 103, Mississauga
How to donate: New and gently used winter clothing and accessories are a seasonal priority for the Dixie-Bloor Neighbourhood Centre’s Community Care Closet. They need coats, hats, gloves, scarves, boots and warming packs most. To arrange drop off between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Monday-Friday), email the Community Resource Coordinator.
Who it helps: Canada has welcomed many refugees and asylum seekers from Ukraine and African countries this year. Most need kitted out for their first Canadian winter. Newcomers of all ages and anybody experiencing hardship in Mississauga are welcome to use the Community Care Closet.
Rexdale Community Health Centre
Where: 2301-222 Dixon Road, Toronto, ON
How to donate: A clothing distribution program runs at Rexdale Community Centre year-round. The need for donations is greatest in winter. If you have coats, jackets, gloves, hats, boots, socks or scarves to donate, you can drop them off between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m., from Monday to Thursday (except when the centre closes for the holidays, between Dec. 21, 2023, and Jan. 3, 2024). Please e-mail ahead to arrange drop off, to: email@example.com. For more information, call 416-737-6537.
Who it helps: Clothing donations help keep about 130 people warm through the winter each year. The team distributes them to people of all ages in the Rexdale neighbourhood, who visit the centre for learning, health and social programs.
Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services
Where: 2225 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga
How to donate: This Mississauga-based centre distributes warm coats and boots throughout the colder months to recent newcomers. To arrange your donation drop-off, contact Hosni Qadah or submit a web form through the Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services website.
Who it helps: Polycultural Immigrant and Community Services supports around 600 refugee claimants with employment, language learning, wellness and basic needs. The team anticipates high demand for winter wear this year, as local hotels providing shelter to newcomers are filling up.
Where: 800 Bay St (Suite 402), Toronto
How to donate: As winter sets in, Fred Victor needs donations of coats, boots, hats, toques, mittens, gloves and scarves. These can be gently used, providing they’re washed and have no rips, holes or stains. Individuals should email: firstname.lastname@example.org, to arrange drop off at the most convenient location and detail what you plan to donate. Donation storage space is limited, so consult the list of most-needed items first. Groups looking to do a donations drive can visit the team volunteering page or reach out to: email@example.com.
Who it helps: Fred Victor serves people experiencing—or at risk of—homelessness in Toronto. More than 8,000 people find themselves unhoused in the city on any given night. Fred Victor helps provide them with shelter, hygiene products, clothing, laundry facilities and access to affordable housing, mental health, addictions and family supports.