Bear Clan Patrol volunteers hand out 5-tonne truck’s worth of warm clothing to those in need

Head of patrol group says people grateful, brought to tears receiving warm clothing items

Dozens of volunteers showed kindness by giving out a truckload of warm clothing, blankets and food to some of Winnipeg’s most vulnerable on a cold Christmas Day.

Bear Clan Patrol held its annual Christmas convoy on Sunday, and nearly 50 volunteers followed a five-tonne truck to different shelters and encampments in the city to give out items to help people survive the recent cold snap.

Interim executive director Kevin Walker estimates roughly 500 people received the sorely needed winter clothing.

“When we get to experience first-hand, live, see the smiles on their faces, maybe the tears coming from their eyes because they didn’t have anything and nobody really cared,” he told CBC News on Monday.

“When we can come up and and show some support and show some love and and hand out things that are absolutely needed at this time of year, it can bring a lot of great feelings to everyone.”

A group of people pose in two lines next to a five-tonne truck that says "Shortline: Moving with you" on the side.
Volunteers loaded up a five-tonne truck with blankets, hats, toques, boots and other items and handed them out at encampments and shelters in Winnipeg on Christmas Day. (Submitted by Kevin Walker)

The items were donated by people in the community through various drives at different locations, he said.

Walker said he and other volunteers felt motivated to spend the holiday in the cold to spread some Christmas cheer.

“I’m fortunate to have some things that others may not have, so I think it’s important that we give back to the community and I think that’s shown by the number of volunteers that we had helping us that day,” he said.