The COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to many things, but not the ongoing need for warm winter clothing in Yukon.
CBC Yukon has kicked off its annual sock drive again this year, in partnership with Blood Ties Four Directions. The annual campaign collects donated socks — and gloves and mitts — to help people in need stay warm through the cold months.
The campaign is a little different this year, though — instead of accepting donations inside the CBC Yukon station, a box has been set up outside the building for people to safely leave their goods.
"If anything, our demand this year has increased from previous years," said Brontë Renwick-Shields, executive director of Blood Ties Four Directions, "especially because we have had a quicker start to winter."
Renwick-Shields says the pandemic has been a difficult time for vulnerable people and those in need.
"[The pandemic] changed their lives in a lot of ways. And people are feeling isolated. Some of the services they may have previously accessed may be closed, or only available to them in different ways," she said.
"For many of my clients, they've been living in a health crisis — the opioid epidemic — for many years now. And so you're adding a secondary health crisis on top of that."
She says the annual sock drive is a big help in keeping people warm and dry. Donations are typically delivered by the organization's outreach van, which continues to operate through the pandemic.
"[Socks are] something that we struggle to keep in stock because they are in such demand. So the most that we can get is wonderful."
The donation box is outside the CBC Yukon station (3103 3rd Ave., Whitehorse), Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Dec. 4.
Only new, unused goods are accepted.