Shelters full, seeking donations for the holidays

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While some people enjoyed Christmas with their families, some merely sought shelter.

"Right now we're at capacity," said Jacquie Brand, program coordinator for the Y Women's Emergency Shelter.

The two shelters rely on monetary and in-kind donations around the holidays, requiring around 95 per cent of their funding to come from the public at this time. For those who received Christmas gifts they don't need, Brand said the shelters are short on certain donations.

"Right now we don't have a whole lot of stuff for single women," she said.

Brand said women who show up at the shelter arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.

"You have to remember that women and children who come here…look down, what you're wearing… that's what you get," she said. "They're honestly alone."

While they are short on items for women, Brand said Kamloops residents have been quick to donate around the holidays.

"Sometimes we'll get some hampers in that are just crazy generous," she said.

She said despite generosity by some they are short on items for women because people tend to cater their donations to children because of the nature of the season.

"People want to give to families, kids," she said.

Brand said the women appreciate everything from bath products to gift cards, but recommends a good pair of pajamas.

For those interested in donating, drop off donations at either YMCA locations, either downtown at 400 Battle St. or on the North Shore at Northills Shopping Centre. They are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day.

"Drop it off at the front desk and say it's for the shelter," Brand said.

— Jessica Wallace

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