Spreading warmth across the country

Store's campaign aims to provide new blankets to homeless shelters

A $5 donation will provide much-needed comfort to less-fortunate members of the community this winter, thanks to an initiative by Urban Barn, a national furniture and home accents retailer.

Blanket the Country in Warmth is a national charitable program recently launched by the Canadian retailer. Throughout November, Urban Barn will donate one brand-new fleece blanket to a local homeless shelter for every $5 donation it receives. Its goal is to donate up to 8,000 blankets to 24 shelters.

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In Victoria, the blankets will benefit the Victoria Cool Aid Society, which operates 114 beds in three shelters across the region.

"It's important for me and my colleagues to be part of this initiative," said James Bak, a store associate at the company's Victoria location. "It means we're more than just a furniture store. We're a family and we're here to support our community."

Another Island organization - the New Hope Centre, operated by the Salvation Army in Nanaimo - will also benefit from the campaign. The centre offers emergency shelter beds, meals, washrooms and laundry facilities for men.

Based in Burnaby, Urban Barn operates 41 stores in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The Victoria store is located at 101-3450 Uptown Blvd. in the Uptown shopping complex. The Nanaimo store is at 120A-3200 North Island Hwy.

For more information about the campaign, go to blanketthecountry.com. The microsite features a thermometer that will rise to reflect donations received by stores.


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