11.15.16 / Community

Squamish community office turns down the heat

In October, our Squamish community office participated in the fourth annual province-wide Turn Down the Heat Week campaign, sponsored by the Business Improvement Areas of BC, the Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association (BIA) and FortisBC.

From October 23 – 29, participating businesses turned down their thermostat for one week at home and at work and staff were encouraged to wear a sweater to promote the campaign mission. Participating businesses also collected warm clothing and blankets for donation to a charity selected by their local BIA.

community office collects sweater donations

Elliot Moses, FortisBC’s community and aboriginal relations manager in Squamish, and a director of the Downtown Squamish BIA, headed Squamish’s participation in the campaign, including the collection of warm clothing for the Howe Sound Women’s Centre. Elliot says, “Not only was the Turn Down the Heat campaign an opportunity to raise awareness, and encourage the reduction of wasteful energy consumption, it’s been a great opportunity to help a local charity that does so much for our community.”

Donors dropped items off at the FortisBC Squamish community office. Elliot collected additional items at a local community event called the Pumpkin Patch in the Park. Bianca Peters, executive director of the Downtown Squamish BIA, said the Pumpkin Patch in the Park event was promoted as a lead up to Squamish’s annual “Season of Giving,” providing an early opportunity for the community to pitch in and help those in need.

In addition to Turn Down the Heat’s warm clothing collection, attendees could donate to Christmas Care, a charity that provides Christmas Hampers for those who need them. “Squamish is a community that cares about its members,” says Bianca. “We’re also a community of volunteers that pitch in wherever we’re needed––we roll up our sleeves and get involved. Everybody knew about the event, and everyone was actively giving.”

At the end of the event, Bianca remembers seeing Elliot standing behind a mountain of sweaters, blankets and outerwear. “There was a huge response for the Howe Sound Women’s Centre,” she says. “It’s so important to support them. There are women out there who need help and don’t have anywhere to turn."

Megan Reynolds, the executive director of the Howe Sound Women’s Centre said the donated items were very much appreciated by the women and families they serve through their transition house and drop-in centre program.

Megan says, “Outfitting a family with warm clothing and outerwear can really add to a family’s financial burden. The women commented that the clothing they received through the Turn Down the Heat campaign will help to offset this cost. We all appreciate the support.”