Southland Church is going to be a busy place this coming Friday.

Volunteers are busy getting ready for Southland's annual Food and Clothing Drive which runs from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M. on Friday. John Abrams is the Distribution Centre Coordinator at Southland and he oversees the clothing aspect of the Food and Clothing Drive.

"You come and you get the clothes that you need. We give you bags and we have cookies and coffee for those that come in. Obviously, we follow the health order that is now in place," says Abrams, "people can come in and get free clothes and then this year, to grab the food hampers, they are going to go to the other side of the building and it is going to be a drive-thru where we have volunteers put the food hampers directly into your vehicle. This is all for free."

Abrams says they collect donations all year round and actually run a weekly clothing closet for those in need, but the vast majority of donations are given in the weeks leading up to the Food and Clothing Drive and this year was no exception.

"It has been an incredible thing, we don't just get donations from our church, we get tons of donations from the community and surrounding area so we have had different ministries from different areas donate huge amounts of clothes. We thought it would be lower this year because of COVID and everything everyone has been through but it has actually been huge. We have seen easily as much as we have in past years."

If you are interested in giving, Abrams says on the clothing side, the donation deadline is Thursday at 4:30 P.M. On the food side, He notes they accept online monetary donations and then buy everything needed for hampers. There is no deadline for online donations.

Abrams says the Food and Clothing Drive helps more than just southeastern Manitoba.

"Lots of times we have communities from northern Manitoba and things like that, that make their way down even with busses. I guess this year, we can't guarantee that they will be able to make their way down but in past years that has definitely been the case. We love them and invite them to come as well this year."


The 2019 Food and Clothing Drive before physical distancing was a thing