When 13-year-old Quintin Ippersiel didn’t meet the age requirement to volunteer at The Drop-In Centre in Downtown Guelph, he decided to come up with his own charity to help those vulnerable in the cold this winter.
And so he contacted The Drop-in Centre manager Emmanuel Asanya asking how he can be of help.
“He was happy I was helping out and he knew some of the people at Polestar,” says Ippersiel who was able to network with local business owners with the help of Asanya to pitch his idea.
“He said he needs a lot of new gloves and socks for people over the winter,” says Ippersielabout Asanya.
And so Ippersiel expressed his interest to four local businesses — Polestar Hearth on Woolwich Street, Planet Bean on Grange Road, The Monarch House Cafe and Lounge on Gordon Street and Cavan Coffee on Gordon Street — and they were all receptive to his idea and agreed to carry his donation box on their front counters from Nov. 27 to Dec. 31 to collect new socks and gloves.
“We’re also collecting cash so we can buy socks and gloves,” says Ippersiel about the donation box that includes a container for cash only for those who are pressed for time.
The collected items will then be donated to The Drop-In Centre to be handed out to those in need.
Ippersiel says he chose the four locations because of the high traffic they attract, presenting the opportunity for a passerby to donate. He says he was encouraged by the eagerness within Guelph business owners to support him in this cause.
Many charities for the homeless regard socks as one of the most demanded items as the supply falls short of the demand. And in the streets, socks wear out fast which results in individuals prone to frostbites, sickness and loss of self-worth.
“This was another way for him being able to help out,” says Ippersiel father, Michael Ippersiel.
“It’s nice to see him doing something like that and helping out the community.”
Ippersiel says he intends on making this initiative an annual event given how essential the articles of clothing are and how receptive local businesses have been to support the purpose.
“It feels good to be helping out,” says Ippersiel.