Winter Coat Drive Helps at Height of Winter

Jackets, boots, gloves and warm clothes donated by Toronto Police members and dropped off at donation boxes inside headquarters from December to early February were delivered on February 9, one of the coldest days of the year.

The annual coat drive started a decade ago after Const. Joanne Tawton told Duty Desk Operator Gary Long that The Scott Mission was in desperate need of winter coats. Long is now in the Wellness Unit but once again teamed up to collect and deliver winter gear.

As a police officer for 40 years, much spent policing 14, 31 and 51 Divisions, Tawton is very much aware of the need for warm clothing for homeless and other vulnerable people during the winter. This year, the Scott Mission and Women's Residence received the donations.

“We take an absolute and active interest in the community we police in, and for the people that are less fortunate, we feel that there is such a demand for winter coats and warm clothing,” said Tawton. “Every year, we know that things are getting tougher for people that are homeless and marginally housed, and this year we’ve had such a cold snap, as well as COVID-19. It’s just something that is important to us to make sure people can, at the very least, be dressed warmly”

Tawton thanked Service members for their support.

“We could not do this without the support of our colleagues,” she said. “I think it shows how much we care about the communities that we live and work in. Judging by the number of coats and clothing donations we’ve received this year - and every year - from TPS members, it is clear that we all care – we genuinely care about the people of Toronto, and those that are less fortunate.”

A man driving a truck
Gary Long pilots the truck full of donations of warm clothing for shelter residents Photo: Martin Blake

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