Carmen Steenbergen hands a cheque to Donna Ellerby, with Community Partners in front of the new donation bins.
Ellerby was joined by Jen Baliant and Ingrid Soanes for the cheque presentation. Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News
The Calgary-based Clothing for a Cause is working with Sylvan Lake Community Partners with new clothing donation bins. The Clothing for a Cause collects the clothing donated through the bins and sells them to international wholesalers and recyclers. Carmen Steenbergen, the bin representative with Clothing for a Cause, says the funds from the sales goes towards local charities, like Communities Partners, as well as international groups such as Haiti Arise Ministries.
“We have committed to $7,500 for Community Partners, and hope to increase that if we see success from the bins here in Sylvan,” Steenbergen said. Steenbergen lives in Sylvan Lake and said it was only natural to her to expand the program to include Community Partners. “When we were looking to expand north, we were looking for places with charities in need, like the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre,” she said. “When Elisa [Humphries] suggested Community Partners I jumped at it.”
There are currently three bins set up in the parking lot of No Frills, where the old Diabetes bins used to be placed. A fourth bin is expected to be placed there soon, along with a fifth which will take up residence at the Waste Transfer site. Donna Ellerby says she is very excited for what the new partnership will mean for Community Partners.
The donation bins will give Community Partners a new outlet for clothing, outside of the children’s clothing swap and Coats for Kids program. “For adult clothing, we have distributed, like after our winter coats, Jen [Baliant] takes bags into places like Safe Harbour, places like that where men, generally, who just don’t have warm clothes,” Ellerby said.
The bins were put into place on Dec. 10, 2018, and Community Partners has already made use of them by dropping off some of the many clothes they simply do not have room for. Ellerby says Community Partners will continue to make donations to Safe Harbour and the women’s shelter as well as use the donation bins.
Steenbergen says that is something she recommends as well. “Some of our bins have been put into place for the excess that the organizations just don’t have room or need for,” Steenbergen said. The items donated are picked up regularly, and Steenbergen says it is only to be used for clothing, bedding, footwear, teddy bears and diapers. She says the bins are not to be used as a dumping ground.
“I really think this will be great for the community, and it is helping locally, not some big faceless corporation,” said Steenbergen.