Getting Back to Basics

Posted on January 30, 2018

Leadership Thunder Bay and SHIFT Young Professionals Network “Get Back to Basics” to Provide Necessities for Locals in Need

Everyday necessities like socks and underwear are not typically given much thought but for approximately 3000 people in our community, these simple essentials can provide much-needed warmth and comfort. Leadership Thunder Bay and SHIFT Young Professionals Network have launched a drive to gather donations of new socks and underwear for babies, children, teenagers and adults during the month of February.

Over the past year, Leadership Thunder Bay & SHIFT Young Professionals Network have identified a gap. Numerous organizations collect basic items like food but not many are collecting the socks and underwear for men, women and children. “As leaders and young professionals, we want to raise awareness of how a simple act of donating a pair of socks or underwear can impact those who are living in poverty and homelessness in our community,” shares Sam Milhalus, President of SHIFT Young Professional Network.

“Our focus is to help people in need in our community with some of their necessities. What many of us take for granted, by opening our drawer in the morning, and pulling out a pair of socks and underwear to get ready for the day, is not possible for many others in our community. Sometimes we forget just how important basic necessities are,” adds Matt Villella, President of Leadership Thunder Bay.

“Our need for new socks and underwear has grown significantly over the past few months,” says Our Kids Count Fund Development Manager, Amy Silvaggio. “With so many families in need of supports, there is an enormous demand for the basics.” Each year, more than 650 individuals & families access our services on a recurring basis. Although our programming helps families through play groups, parenting training and food and budget planning, it typically doesn’t even begin to scrape the surface of the actual cost of some other basics like socks and underwear”.

The Back to Basics initiative addresses this need by distributing unused socks and underwear to Dilico Anishnabek Family Care, Shelter House, Faye Peterson House, Salvation Army, Our Kids Count, and Beendigen. To donate, the organizers are asking that you drop off new socks or underwear to the following outlets during the month of February: the SHIFT Office at the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Kelsey’s and Montana’s restaurants, City Hall, Marriott Townplace Suites, Sleeping Giant Brewery, Jones and Associates Insurance and Smith’s RV Centre. Donations are accepted during their regular business hours.   Thanks to Canadian Tire Thunder Centre, as well, for the donation of bins.

To become a drop off location contact the SHIFT Office @ 807-624-2628 and for more information please visit or

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