Gregory Ould is the Founder and Executive Director of the Blanket BC Society. He started collecting blankets together with his son Benjamin five years ago. Today, Benjamin is 7 and is joined by his sister Emma who is 3 and the Ould Family is actively involved in what is now a successfully incorporated society that is an invaluable service to the community. Their mission is to provide “warmth from the heart” by collecting blankets for those less fortunate during the winter months. This year, British Columbia is expecting the worst winter in over 50 years and they want to help prevent people from dying on our streets.
It all began when Gregory was walking out of a movie theatre in downtown Vancouver on a chilly October night. He noticed a man lying in an alcove at the side of a building. Gregory went up to the man whose appearance looked that of 60 years old. He asked the man if there was anything that he could do to help him out. Thinking he would ask for money, food or cigarettes, Gregory wasn’t prepared for what the man said. “I could use a blanket…to survive the night.” Blown away by those words, Gregory went out and brought back a blanket. The act of that one offer has now continued and blossomed to a family endeavor to assist charity organizations like SHARE from the Tri-Cities, or the Union Gospel Mission’s shelters or any other Churches that open their space to the homeless and families in need of help.
The Annual Winter Blanket Drive was launched in 2006 when Greg and Ben collected nearly 2000 blankets from individuals and companies. To date, Blanket BC has collected over 35,000 blankets and has fostered the support of local companies and this year ProTransBC, the operator of Canada Line as well as other generous sponsors and volunteers who help coordinate the logistics of their campaigns. “All blankets are divided up and distributed to shelters, churches and other organizations that are seeking these items. Blanket BC is also raising awareness to the homelessness issue in our communities. Prevention and being proactive is key as there will always be someone in need.” says Gregory. This year they will continue to conduct large blanket drives throughout the entire winter so that they may help people going through very difficult times and assist other charitable organizations save money by providing necessary blankets. Blanket BC is also an environmentally conscious initiative utilizing good blankets for a good cause. All their media communications are done mainly through generous donations including radio and television, social media and projection advertising and good old fashion word of mouth!
On Friday, November 26, Blanket BC is holding their second annual Blanket BC's "Drive on the Line" 2010 Campaign. It's a day-long blanket drive set along the Skytrain's Expo, Millenium and Canada Line stations. They are always looking for volunteers to give back to the community. Please contact Blanket BC for volunteer information or remember to bring a blanket on your way to work or school on Friday, November 26th.
Founder, Executive Director
Blanket BC Society
"Warmth from the Heart"
Warm Hearts Blog
Warming hearts one blanket at a time...