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Chez Doris women's shelter receives influx of donations after plea for help
In the few days since the director of Chez Doris issued a special plea on CTV for clothing donations, the women’s drop-in has been inundated with donations from companies and individuals.
Like many shelters and day centres in Montreal, Chez Doris has seen a spike in demand for its services, mostly due to the number of asylum seekers coming into Quebec.
One of the services it offers is donated clothing, but in recent weeks something unprecedented occurred – the day centre ran out of goods.
Director Marina Boulos Winton put out a call for donations and said since then, they have received far more than they could have ever imagined.
“We never have had to call to the public to please donate clothes. We always need money of course and sometimes we run out toothbrushes and toothpaste but the clothes really appeal to people, because it’s something that they already have and they don’t have to spend money on this. The response was quite something,” she said.
On Friday, Chez Doris distributed the clothes to more than 100 women, many of whom are asylum seekers.
Lucy Agba, from Nigeria, said that in the four months she's been in Montreal, she's been amazed at all the help people have been willing to give, including Friday's clothing donations. There are still many challenges facing her, though, as she waits to see whether she and her children can stay.
“I can work, because I got a work permit, however it is difficult, because I don't speak French. I don't speak French and most of the offices there are, you have to speak French or you’re almost not finding yourself, so integration is very primary,” she said, adding, “however my biggest problem now is not just the French but there isn't a creche for my daughter. She's one year, eight months and she can’t be placed into daycare, because there’s a policy that stops claimants from getting daycare coverage.”
Agba said something as simple as donated clothing can help her as she makes this difficult transition into a new life for her and her family.
Due to the overwhelming response, Chez Doris shouldn't run out of clothing any time soon, but winter is coming and the centre said they'll have to make another call for donations this fall.