Photo above: Front row left to right Jennifer Orr and Joann Williams (St John Reception Centre CSSD), Deborah Johnson, Ali deBoer, Theresa Lewchuk (Pass It On), back row Knights of Columbus left to right, David Franko, Wilf Petryk, SDcn Bill Lewchuk, Fr Stan Bjeli (visiting priest), Chris Macken, Ambrose Comchi, Dan Oryschak, Allan Oryschak, Bohdan Tyrawski.
“Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none” (Luke 3:11)
You may still associate PASS IT ON (PIO) with large sorting events in St. Stephen’s Hall and crowded clothing giveaways in school gymnasiums. Although COVID has ended such activities, PIO is still dedicated to collecting and sharing winter clothing to families in need, and we have been blessed by many who have continued to support us and want to serve.
PIO has moved to a more facilitative model, creatively sourcing clothing and other items for organizations, such as Jacket Racket (JR), the Calgary Catholic School District’s (CSSD) St John Reception Centre and Street Sisters who can safely distribute them to those most in need.
For example, on Sunday, January 23, 2022, winter coats from the Knights of Columbus’ Coats for Kids program were blessed at St Stephens and at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parishes. These coats were purchased by the parishes and parishioners-at-large, and were destined for CSSD’s St John reception Centre and Jacket Racket (JR) for distribution to students-in-need and their families
Our own Bishop David Motiuk spearheaded the donation of the KofC coats – in the fall, he personally purchased 3 cases of coats (12 jackets to a case) through the Knights’ Coats for Kids program, keeping 18 jackets for distribution to students in Edmonton and donating 18 to Jacket Racket in Calgary. He then challenged parishes to do something similar. Even Calgary parishes such as St Cecilia’s, Mary Mother of the Holy Redeemer, and St Lukes all donated coats via the KofC Coats for Kids program.
PASS IT ON sources winter clothing from as many places as possible. In particular, we are so grateful to Alida DeBoer, Corporate Relations for PIO and her team. Ali maintains a close connection with 3 local Value Villages, who, at the end of the winter season, will donate their excess stock of winterwear which all goes to stock the St John Reception Centre.
During the fall, 2021, Jacket Racket handed out 2040 accessorized coats to students, and, from August 2021 to Jan 2022, the Reception Centre welcomed just over 1300 students with their families.
If you are unfamiliar with Jacket Racket, St John Reception Centre and Street Sisters:
Theresa Lewchuk, Co-Convener, Operations
Deborah Johnson, Co-Convener, Communications
Alida DeBoer, Corporate Relations
The following is excerpted from a thank-you communication from the St. John Reception Centre:
Pass it on 2021