COVID-19 and Out of the Cold

 

The Out of the Cold Program at Eastminster is not able to offer overnight accommodation during the current COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. However, we are committed to providing food and basic needs on a take-out only basis. Our services will be provided outside the doors on Danforth Ave. on Fridays 5:00- 7:00pm until the end of April.

 

WHAT WE ARE DOING

 

Every Friday evening, until the end of April, we are providing approximately 55 take-out meals which include a hot dinner and a robust lunch kit, basic needs, and limited select clothing and toiletries on a weekly rotation. All who are hungry or in need of basics are welcome. Each Friday, we are packaging 50 – 80 individual portions of chili to be distributed through the Glen Rhodes Food Bank and donating leftover sandwiches and fruit to Mustard Seed

Additionally, we are funding 100 meals per week that are prepared and distributed by Seeds of Hope to homeless individuals living in the encampments and surrounding areas.

Our volunteer-run program is organized and supervised by a dedicated group comprised of church and community members. Our ability to offer support for those in need in our community comes 100% from donations from individual, group and congregational donations.

 

ON SITE WE PROVIDE

 

From the first week in November to the last week of March on Fridays from 5:00 until 7:00pm, we will provide the following:

  • a friendly welcome
  • a hot take-out cup of chili / dinner roll
  • hot coffee / tea
  • a bag lunch to go (sandwich, fruit, drink, hummus + carrots, dessert etc.)
  • toiletries
  • PPE kits (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer)
  • clean select ew and almost new adult clothing (jeans, hoodies, t-shirts)
  • new underwear and socks
  • new adult winter boots, coats, gloves (as donated/purchased)

VOLUNTEERING

 

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, there are limited opportunities to volunteer in the program this year.  All volunteers are required to wear PPE and follow strict pandemic protocols. 

There are many ways that you can support the program even though in-person volunteer opportunities are limited.  Donating items to support our food program enables us to purchase other high demand items that rarely get donated. Consider organizing a food or clothing drive for targeted items or raising funds to help us purchase required items.  

The following will help fill our lunch bags:

  • cases of juice boxes
  • cases of protein drinks
  • cartons of granola bars
  • cartons of protein bars
  • Individually wrapped desserts (cookies, vachon products etc (commercially produced or fresh home-made but freezable - brownies, cookies etc no easily squished desserts)
  • cases of water
  • fruit (bananas or mandarins/clementines only)

 

CLOTHING DONATIONS

 

We are targeting very specific needed items that can be distributed quickly and easily outside by a skeleton volunteer staff.  Please help us minimize the sorting and disposal of goods we can’t safely hand out by donating only the items listed. We have a good supply of women’s clothes and are only targeting men’s clothes currently. All donations must be laundered and in excellent condition. Donations can be handed to a volunteer on Fridays between 3:30 and 7:00 at the west Danforth doors. Please deliver donations only during this designated collection time.

Used in excellent condition (all zippers /buttons work, laundered, no rips or stains):

    • men's jeans (no dress pants, thin cotton pants etc.)
    • men's sweatpants
    • men's hoodies and sweatshirts (no sweaters)
    • men's warm winter ski jackets (no cloth coats)
    • men's rain jackets

.
New items:

  • all items listed above
  • priority: mens size M and 2XL, womens underwear M - XL
  • thermal socks
  • long johns
  • thermal undershirts
  • men's and women's ski gloves (no knitted items)

 

Other non-clothing donations for clothing outlet:

    • men's and women's deodorant
    • razors
    • shaving cream
    • toothpaste
    • unopened boxes of disposable PPE masks
    • small bottles of hand sanitizer
    • small packets of tissues
    • feminine hygiene products
    • hand warmers
    • packets of wet wipes

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FINANCIAL DONATIONS

 

The OOTC outreach initiatives are funded 100% by donations and run by volunteers – all money donated is used to fund the program.

  • $10 - buys a hot chili take-out and a bun and a bag lunch to go for a hungry person in our community
  • $20 - buys 3 pairs of long johns
  • $50 - buys a pair of boots or a coat or 5 boxes of masks
  • $120 - buys 30 pairs of underwear or 3 cases of protein drinks
  • $1200 – sponsors the program for one week (food, purchased clothing, toiletries and PPE)

 

Cheques payable to East End United Regional Ministry: subject line: Out of the Cold.

Tax-receipts (mailed in February) will be issued for any donation of $25 or more.

 GET IN TOUCH

 

Questions related to program, sponsorship or donations get in touch with our Program Coordinator, Gloria McPherson: eastminsterootc.coordinator@gmail.com