An effort to boost food and clothing donations to those in need during the pandemic is coming to a close.
The final drive-thru collection benefiting Surrey Urban Mission Society is underway today (May 3) until 12:30 p.m., in the parking lot of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in South Surrey.
The 2350 148 St. site is where Patricia Mulvaney has faithfully parked herself every Tuesday morning since May 2020 – shortly after the pandemic was declared – to provide a socially-distanced opportunity for people to help.
Mulvaney pitched the idea to her church council after thinking about how she could personally help and realizing she couldn’t be the only person who would like to.
Initially asking for snack items for SUMS’ Brown Bag Meal Program – which provides bagged meals twice daily to the homeless and others needing support – the appeal soon expanded to include clothing, particularly items suitable for colder weather.
Aside from a temporary hiatus in November 2020, the collection effort has continued throughout the pandemic.
Mulvaney said while the drive-thru is ending – although it could resume at some point down the road – setting a date to wrap it up “in no way states that I or SUMS believe the pandemic to be over and done with or that the needs have lessened.”
“Much care and support are still needed and can be offered in various ways.”
For today, Mulvaney said SUMS is in particular need of men’s clothing. She noted she cannot accept unwashed clothing.
Food-wise, everything from pasta and peanut butter to juice boxes and canned vegetables is needed. Mulvaney asks those considering donating to please ensure that the items they plan to drop off are securely bagged.
For anyone wishing to take over the Tuesday collection routine, Mulvaney said she would be happy to facilitate the necessary connections. She can be reached at 604-786-4711.
Financial donations continue to be welcomed, and may be done online at CanadaHelps.org (search ‘SUMS’ under charity), or by cheque payable to Surrey Urban Mission (10776 King George Blvd.).
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