Every year, Lower Mainland REALTORS® organize a Blanket Drive to collect blankets and warm clothing to help people in need stave off the winter cold and wet. Thousands of REALTORS® and members of the public generously donate to this worthwhile cause.
Dozens of real estate offices across the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver serve as drop-off locations to collect an astounding 4,000+ bags of blankets and clothing, which REALTOR® volunteers personally deliver to local charities (listed below).
In 2013, the Blanket Drive runs from Monday, November 18 to Monday, November 25.
Anyone can donate anytime during the campaign dates (during business hours) at locations in the Fraser Valley. Please refrain from dropping off donations before the Drive begins, as real estate offices don't have adequate storage.
Please donate ANY of these items (new or gently used and clean):
- blankets, sleeping bags, bedding (sheets and blankets)
- winter jackets, coats, rain coats, rain ponchos, windbreakers (men, women and children)
- sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, turtlenecks, sweatshirts, fleece vests, pullovers
- pants, sweatpants, jeans
- long underwear, scarves, hats, mitts, gloves, toques
- NEW underwear and socks
- shoes and boots, especially waterproof
- any clothing offering warmth and/or protection from the elements
Please do not donate household items, summer clothing, furniture, books, toys, toiletries, etc. Save them for another time — this is a drive for warm clothing and bedding only.
Fraser Valley Blanket Drive charities
- Abbotsford/Aldergrove: 5 and 2 Ministries and Cyrus Centre
- Langley: Wagner Hills Ministries and Gateway of Hope (Salvation Army)
- Mission: Lydia House, Hope Central Ministry, Mission Community Services and Mission Friendship Centre
- Surrey: Hyland House, Surrey Memorial Hospital (volunteer resources), Surrey Urban Mission and NightShift Street Ministries
- South Surrey/White Rock: South Fraser Women's Services Society and Sources Community Resource Centre
Fraser Valley charities and drop-off locations, as well those for Greater Vancouver, can be found at www.blanketdrive.ca.
Since 1995, Fraser Valley REALTORS® have joined forces with police acting as "extra eyes and ears" to fight crime in their communities. REALTOR® members at the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board joined the Realty Watch program in 2003. In 2006, the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver members launched Realty Watch for their areas.
Realty Watch is a crime prevention program whose mission is to reduce and prevent crime by assisting police in time-critical situations — usually lost, missing or abducted children or vulnerable adults.
Police contact the Fraser Valley Real Estate Board and request a fan-out for the missing person. The information sent out as a text message to REALTORS®. After receiving the fan-out message, if a REALTOR® sees or hears anything that could help police with that case, he or she calls 911.
REALTORS®, with their smartphones and community mobility, are an excellent resource for police. Over 14,000 REALTORS throughout the Lower Mainland of BC, from Whistler to Hope, can be mobilized within 30 minutes.
In the Fraser Valley, Realty Watch is led by a group of volunteer REALTORS®. For more information, call 604.930.7630.
Visit www.realtywatch.net for more information.
The Fraser Valley Real Estate Board launched the REALTORS® Make Good Neighbours Awards in 2002 to honour community volunteering by REALTORS®. Recipients are selected based on the amount of time they spend volunteering, level of responsibility undertaken as volunteers and overall impact of their efforts within their communities. The selection panel is composed of people outside the real estate profession, who work in local charities and non-profit associations.