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Boots and Coats Drive helps less fortunate stay warm this winter

Ahead of the cold weather, the Waterloo Region Association of Realtors are collecting boots and coats for those in need

The Waterloo Region Association of Realtors is celebrating Realtors Care Week by giving back to the community in a meaningful way.

Karen Bartlett is helping host a winter boots and coats drive in support of The Bridges and YW Emergency Shelter on Sunday, November 13 at the Hespeler Memorial Arena Optimist room.

“I wanted to do my part in collecting as many donations as possible,” Bartlett said.

“I love supporting community events, so anytime there is an opportunity to give back I participate in any way I can.”

New or gently used boots and coats can be dropped off between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Donations to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region will also be accepted.

The Bridges and the YW Emergency Shelter were chosen as the recipients due to the active role they play in the community. The association sees the two organizations as serving some of the most in-need individuals in Waterloo Region.

The Bridges, located at 26 Simcoe St., offers 80 emergency shelter beds for those experiencing homelessness and 20 bachelor apartments for people who are transitioning from the shelter into the community. According to their 2021 annual report they helped 1,006 unique clients, served 92,727 meals and provided 39,240 overnight accommodations.

The YW Emergency shelter offers 66 shelter beds in Kitchener, while providing necessary resources and basic needs for cis and trans women and non-binary individuals.

Bartlett hopes to rally the community to not only gather boots and coats, but raise awareness for those who need them. Showing you care comes in many forms.

“People can have an impact on someone just by donating, whether it’s a material item or their time,” Bartlett said.

“By having people reaching out and helping one another, I believe it brings communities closer. My goal is to spread awareness about these very impactful charitable organizations and what they do for our communities, and of course to get as many donations as possible.”

For more information on The Bridges and the services they offer visit

The YW Emergency Shelter can be reached at