Warm clothing to be collected as Kelowna businesses asked to ‘turn down the heat’

Next week the downtown Kelowna Association will join groups across B.C in helping the needy

The Downtown Kelowna Association, in partnership with the Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia (BIABC) and FortisBC, will present Turn Down the Heat Week next week.

From Nov. 4 to 10 members of the public can donate gently used sweaters, hats, gloves, mitts or new socks to the Kelowna Gospel Mission. Organizers say every item of warm clothing collected will stay in Kelowna.

There will be five drop-off locations across downtown Kelowna:

• The Gospel Mission (251 Leon Avenue)

• Roy’s Shoes (1627 Ellis Street)

• Mavazi Apparel (565 Bernard Avenue)

• Picture Perfect (543 Lawrence Avenue)

• The Downtown Kelowna Association office (287 Bernard Avenue)

In addition to warm clothing donations, businesses are also being encouraged to turn down the heat in their stores and conserve energy, while employees wear their favourite sweaters.

“We are thrilled that BIABC is working alongside FortisBC on this initiative again,” said BIABC president Kendra Johnston. “Being energy efficient is important to our members, our community and the environment. Together it’s the little things, like turning down the thermostat, that can make a huge difference.”

She said her organization is also fortunate to have FortisBC support the partnership.

“They are as committed to global stewardship as we are,” added Johnston. “When we all work together, our efforts make a significant impact for change.”

In 2016, 400 businesses representing 14 BIAs collected more than 2,500 sweaters and warm pieces of clothing to donate to families in need.

“Being aware of energy use and using it efficiently is good for business. It can reduce costs and preserve resources,” said Danielle Wensink, FortisBC’s director, conservation and energy management. “Turn Down the Heat Week highlights the small changes businesses and residents can make that together have a big impact, all while supporting worthwhile community causes. It’s a win-win for everyone and we’re proud to be a part of it.”

The Downtown Kelowna Association will joins 17 other BIAs across the province this year during the week-long campaign.

In the first four years, the campaign has collected more than 10,000 sweaters, twice the original campaign goal, and those were donated to local charities in need. Businesses championed together to turn their thermostats down and help encourage their customers to do the same at home.

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