“Cozy Tree” assists the unhoused

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At Saviour Lutheran Church in Delta, B.C., our LWMLC society has been organizing a Cozy Tree for charities each Advent season.

I was curious as to when our LWMLC began this mission project and found information in our minutes on the history of the Cozy Tree at Saviour. It has been our LWMLC mission project with congregational participation since 2016.

The first four years, donations were collected for the Food on the Corner Ministry for the Downtown Eastside Vancouver area. There was no collection in 2020. For the past three years, the Ladner Extreme Weather Shelter at Ladner United Church has been happy to accept donations collected by Saviour. They open their doors for the unhoused when the weather is extreme and this year, they welcomed anyone in need of help.

They give us their wish list and congregational members pick what they’d like to donate. A daycare on our premises during the week also participates in collecting donations. Pre-pandemic, other user groups in the building also helped.

The idea for the Cozy Tree came from an article in the Summer 2016 issue of Tapestry. “Cozy Tree benefits others.” The ladies of Grace LWMLC in Brandon, Man., erect a “Cozy Tree” each Advent season in the church narthex….

We have adapted the idea over the years to fit the needs of our area. At first, we collected mostly toques, mitts, scarves, socks and underwear. Now it includes some of the same but also food and gift cards ($5 each has changed to $10) to local fast-food restaurants so the recipients can be inside for longer when the weather is extreme, hot or cold.

Here is a list of the donated items collected in 2023: 54 pairs of socks, 5 pair of gloves/mitts, 3 scarves, 15 toques, 17 men’s underwear, 24 women’s underwear, 6 undershirts, 10 hotshots for hands, 10 pair hotshots for feet, 2 noodle bowls, 6 fruit cups, 31 granola bars, 16 juice boxes, 5 $10 McDonalds gift cards, 3 toothbrushes, 1 toothpaste, soap, lotion, shampoo, conditioners, 1 pair leg warmers, 1 vest, 5 hoodies, 2 tops, 3 jackets, 1 sweater. There were a few more pieces of clothing that the shelter couldn’t use so those were donated to the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Savior LWMLC, Delta, B.C.

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