HOW IT ALL BEGAN!
Share the Warmth began in the winter of 1989 when three women were moved to collect warm clothing and food for the homeless. They put out a plea to the public via an article in the Gazette. The response was overwhelming. People called to volunteer, to donate and sort clothes, to donate food and to help with deliveries.
The group incorporated in February 1990 and moved to Point St. Charles in 1991. They continued to collect and distribute food and clothing and deliver to the homeless on the street, to drop-in centers and to shelters. Today, the second-hand clothing shop receives over 200 visits each week.
Our original home on Rushbrooke in Pointe St. Charles.
In 1992, community members sent out a cry for help for those residents living well below the poverty line. The Food Bank was born that year as a response to that plea. At first, 39 baskets were distributed. Today, we distribute food baskets to some 400 families each week, that is between 600 and 700 people each week, a quarter of whom are children and youth.
The next cry for help came from a teacher at James Lyng High School in 1993 who noticed that some of the students coming to school were hungry. He began giving the students snacks but needed help. Our School Food Program was born that year. Today, we distribute healthy snacks to over 2 700 students each week.
In 2007, a new need was identified by young members of the community living in foster homes. They spent their evenings sitting in the park or hanging out on the streets. They wanted to experience more in life. That led to creating the Youth Group. Today, 40 children participate each week. Many more have joined our tutoring, scholarship and music programs, which were set up to help motivate and encourage youth to complete their studies and decrease the high drop-out rate, which will then break the cycle of poverty that less schooling can engender.
These and other evolving programs are supported by the hundreds of volunteers and work program participants as well as staff, donors and board members who are passionate about the Share the Warmth mission.
Today, Share the Warmth is proud to have become a haven of hope and a maker of dreams for children and members of our community.
Our current home on the corner of Wellington and Fortune St.