Brothers Colin, 11, and Spencer O’Handley, 13, are collecting donations of new tuques and socks for Nanaimo’s homeless until Dec. 20 at venues like Park Avenue Elementary and Sylvan Learning. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin

Nanaimo brothers collect socks and tuques for city homeless

People can donate at six locations in Nanaimo

Two Nanaimo brothers want to warm the heads and toes of the city’s homeless this winter.

Colin, 11, and Spencer, 13, O’Handley have started a tuque and sock drive with hopes of not only bringing warmth to people without a home, but change people’s minds about the homeless.

It’s the first time the duo, from Park Avenue Elementary and John Barsby Secondary, have done the drive.

Colin said they were thinking about how the homeless are so cold during the winter. The brothers saw one man walking barefoot near the New Hope Centre downtown, and gave him a coffee and hashbrowns.

“Whenever we see someone we try to help them,” said Spencer, who adds they want to try to help the homeless with the small stuff, like socks and tuques, and want more people to acknowledge the homeless because very few do.

They walk past them on the street and don’t do anything about it, he said.

“I’m hoping that we can save some lives, change some people’s minds about homeless people and the way they look at them,” said Colin.

The brothers want to raise 500 pairs of socks and at least 250 tuques and do the drive in following years.

So far they’ve received 200 pairs of socks and 52 tuques, including $300 worth of socks from Coast Capital Savings. They will distribute the donations to the New Hope Centre and directly to those living on the streets later in December.

People can drop off new socks and toques to donation boxes at Park Avenue Elementary, John Barsby Secondary, Bellamy Orthodontics, Midland Tarps near Midland Tools, Coast Capital Savings or Sylvan Learning until Dec. 20.

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