Dozens of hand-knitted items were recently donated to a warm-clothing drive being organized by Bobbi Spark of Abbotsford. (Submitted photo)

Dozens of hand-knitted items were recently donated to a warm-clothing drive being organized by Bobbi Spark of Abbotsford. (Submitted photo)

Warm-clothing drive in Abbotsford collects items for those who are homeless

Campaign organized by local resident Bobbi Spark receives wide support

An Abbotsford woman has organized an ongoing warm-clothing drive to help provide items for those who are homeless.

Bobbi Spark said she came up with the idea because she wanted to so something to help the community while unable to volunteer during the pandemic.

“I was heartbroken to think of women living in tents during winter, out in the cold and wet without warm clothes. It came to me then – I could organize a winter/rainwear clothing drive for folks without a home or address,” she said.

She started the drive by cleaning out her own closets and then by asking for donations over social media and by emailing friends.

Spark also called Value Village and connected through a socially distanced appointed with store manager Bonnie, who provided five big boxes of items. Spark said this included between 40 and 50 winter coats.

A friend she approached had no clothing to donate but gave Spark $100 to buy scarves and hats at Value Village to go with the coats.

Another friend and his wife brought over new socks, toques and gloves, while another individual donated men’s and women’s boots as well as bags of sweaters, jackets and other warm gear.

Spark said another 10 or so people contributed donations large and small., but one woman donated what amounted to many, many hours of work.

The woman, Mary Revell, had read Spark’s Facebook post and ended up delivering several hand-knitted items – 88 women’s and men’s hats/toques of various design and colours, 56 pairs of mittens in a range of sizes (each pair tied neatly together with a white yarn bow so they didn’t get mixed up) and three scarves.

“She was modest and very happy to make the donation,” Spark said.

She said it took awhile to figure out how to distribute all the items, but she connected with Amanda Staller, who works for the peer group Drug War Survivors, which is under the umbrella of local charity Impact Society.

RELATED: Former Abbotsford woman receives Courage to Come Back Award

RELATED: Abbotsford conference a testament to youths’ capacity: organizers

Staller takes the donated items to homeless camps around the community and distributes them to whoever needs them.

Spark said she now hopes to expand the assistance to the homeless by providing basic hygiene and personal sanitary items (especially for women), by advocating for public bathrooms in the downtown, and by supporting a variety of solutions to homelessness.

She said the work being done by others in the community to address overdoses, frostbite, street violence and despair is gut-wrenching.

“My warm-clothing drive addresses much less desperate issues, yet it may bring comfort and warmth to some in certain situations. It’s the best I can do for now,” Spark said.

Anyone who has items to donate can call Amanda at 778-238-3442 or Bobbi at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Charity and DonationsHomeless

Just Posted

Mandarin Garden in Abbotsford had two event tents set up for outdoor dining. One of the tents, valued at more than $5,000, was stolen early Friday morning (May 14). (Submitted photo)
UPDATE: Dining tent stolen from Abbotsford restaurant is located

Owner says it would have cost more than $5,000 to replace the rented event tent

Chilliwack prolific offender Brian Stephan was wanted in late April 2021, but was arrested and charged after allegedly stealing a vehicle in Mission on May 5 and resisting arrest in Chilliwack. (RCMP file)
Wanted Chilliwack prolific offender arrested yet again

Brian Stephan allegedly stole a vehicle in Mission, committed a B&E, resisted arrest in Chilliwack on May 5

Trina Hunt's remains were found in the Hope area on March 29. Her family is asking the public to think back to the weekend prior to when she went missing. (Photo courtesy of IHIT.)
Cousin of missing woman found in Hope says she won’t have closure until death is solved

Trina Hunt’s family urges Hope residents to check dashcam, photos to help find her killer

The new emergency department at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre is slated to open June 8. (Screenshot from Province of BC video)
Expanded emergency department slated to open in June at Abbotsford Regional Hospital

Project cost $15 million with an additional $1.25 million donated for equipment

Gordon Cook caught a calm moment at Kawkawa Lake on April 21, 2021. (Gordon Cook)
Hope RCMP stepping up summer patrols at Kawkawa Lake

Police have noted a spike in bad behaviour in the summer months of previous years

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Restrictions will lift once 75% of Canadians get 1 shot and 20% are fully immunized, feds say

Federal health officials are laying out their vision of what life could look like after most Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19

Mike Farnworth, pre-pandemic. (File photo)
Surrey Police recruitment not distracting cops from shootings, Farnworth says

‘That’s simply not the case,’ Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth told the Now-Leader on Friday

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardener finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex after one person was killed and two others were injured during a shooting in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Man, 23, killed in latest Lower Mainland shooting had gang ties: IHIT

Jaskeert Kalkat was one of the three people hit by gunfire at Market Crossing mall at around 8:30 p.m.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read