Adopt a snowman for a good cause

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Airdrie and area residents can adopt a snowman to raise money for Soap for Hope YYC – an organization based in Airdrie working to provide hygiene products to people in need.

Program co-ordinator Michelle Edgar said last year, members of the organization transformed logs into snowmen and sold them to raise money for the program. This year, people can attend an Adopt a Snowman session to paint their own for $35.

“The logs are already painted white. You come in and paint the face and stuff on it, put a hat and a scarf on it and it’s yours,” she said.

Adopt a Snowman sessions will be held at the Soap for Hope YYC warehouse, at 205 – 304 Main Street S.E., from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 24 and Nov. 8. Pre-registration is required by calling 403-606-2000 or emailing michelle@disasteraid.ca

Money raised from the sessions will be used to purchase items for hampers to be redistributed to people in need through local community outreach programs, like Airdrie P.O.W.E.R. (Protecting our Women with Emergency Resources), North Rocky View Community Links and the Airdrie Food Bank, according to Edgar.

Items purchased for hampers include laundry soap, dish soap, facial tissue, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion. Hampers are distributed year-round but Edgar said Christmas is the busiest. The organization also often delivers hampers to homeless shelters in Calgary.

Edgar said Soap for Hope YYC partners with hotels in the area as well, where hotels pay an annual fee for the organization to collect its used hotel hygiene products.

“And then we either top up the bottles, we wash them or we’ll refill them into the community’s empty full-sized bottles that they bring us and we distribute that around as well to local shelters and community outreach programs,” she said. “We’re trying to do our part to save it from going to the landfill when it’s a perfectly usable product for someone in need.”

Edgar and her friend Shelley Adam launched Soap for Hope YYC a year and a half ago. The two Airdrie residents initially operated the program out of their homes before the City of Airdrie offered warehouse space, according to Edgar.

Since its launch, Edgar said the support from the Airdrie and area community has been “overwhelming” and people are always eager to help with wish lists the organization posts on its Facebook page.

“Every week we’re meeting new people that have just heard about us or have been collecting (items) for a time because they saw the need,” she said. “We have a lady that makes 100 face cloths for us probably every two months and brings them in…. The generosity of people in Airdrie is amazing.”

She encourages residents to attend an Adopt a Snowman session to find out more about the organization and help those in need.

“No one should have to hope for soap,” she said.

For more information, visit Soap for Hope – YYC on Facebook.

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