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Kensington consignment store is paying it forward, one coat at a time

It’s all about paying it forward for a local inner-city women’s consignment shop that is continuing an initiative that started on a whim last winter.

The Trend Fashions team wanted to help the city’s unhoused keep warm on the cold winter days and nights so they launched an “if you need a coat, take a coat” initiative outside of the Kensington shop in January.

It was so popular—and much-needed—that they decided to do it again this year, and staff member Jenn Naturkach says the need is even higher than it was last winter.

“We had a really great response from the community for giving last year,” Naturkach says, adding word-of-mouth support has been circulating.

“We thought because we have extra jackets that we sell in the store, we wanted to share them with people who need them because there are a lot of people struggling, probably more this year than last year.”

More coats are leaving than being added

Naturkach says the community response has been heartwarming, but more coats are flying off the rack than being added to it, which shows how great the need is.

“I think we definitely will continue putting out jackets and accessories as needed,” she adds.

The idea is simple; if you need a coat, take a coat. If you can spare a coat, you simply have to drop it off and hang it on the rack outside the front door.

There is also a bin for scarves, socks, toques, gloves, boots, and other winter necessities. The shop is also collecting food and financial donations for the Calgary Food Bank.

“There’s always a need for these winter items so if people have anything extra they want to pass along to someone who really needs it, that would be nice,” Naturkach adds.

“We wanted to help out the people of Kensington. This is just a small way for us to do that.”

A pillar of the community

Kensington BRZ executive director Annie MacInnis applauds Trend Fashions for its efforts, saying all of the community businesses have been very philanthropic over the years.

“We are so proud of our Kensington business members. We have many businesses who are involved in a greater community of Calgary, and who do wonderful work,” MacInnis says.

“Trend is just the most recent example of the kind of altruism that we practice here in Kensington.”

Trend Fashions is open seven days a week from 11am to 7pm, and the coat rack and donation box will be available for people to donate or take what they need during those hours.

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