Pubdate: Fri, 23 Dec 2005
Source: Victoria News (CN BC)
Copyright: 2005 Victoria News
Author: Mark Browne
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal - Canada)


The Vancouver Island Compassion Society doesn't restrict its activities to 
providing medicinal marijuana to people suffering from various illnesses.

The non-profit organization held its first annual winter coat drive to help 
keep the homeless population safe from the cold weather.

The society's membership of more than 500 who use medicinal marijuana for 
various illnesses participated in the winter coat drive.

"We always seem to be reactive rather than proactive when it comes to cold 
weather...  so we decided in November to start collecting for this winter 
drive," said Phillipe Lucas, the society's director.

On Wednesday, the society dropped off its first collection of winter 
clothing to the Open Door street ministry.

The donation consisted of 23 winter coats, 16 sweaters, seven scarves, five 
pairs of gloves and some boots and blankets to the Open Door street ministry.

"It was a resounding success," Lucas said.

At the same time, Lucas said the donation of winter clothing will only go 
so far given the size of Victoria's homeless population.

"This is a small drop in the bucket for the greater need of the 
disadvantaged here in Victoria it. It's our small contribution," he said.

Still, the winter coat drive is an effective way of reminding people of the 
importance of looking after the homeless, particularly during the winter, 
Lucas said.

"We're very fortunate here in Victoria. Most of us aren't going to be cold 
or hungry over the holidays and this is just a small reminder of the things 
we can do to help," he said.

The society plans to continue collecting winter clothing for the homeless 
for the remainder of the winter, Lucas said.

"We keep getting coats and sweaters on a regular basis," he said.
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