With temperatures hovering around -35° C, the fourth Jamming for Jackets fundraiser Jan. 19 was a welcome distraction for many Thompsonites.
Not only did the Juniper Centre’s indoor heating allow attendees to enjoy some live music in comfort, but the organizers also managed to collect a lot of gently used winter wear for the city’s homeless population.
Event organizer Jesse Mckay said the people who came to watch this year’s line-up of local rock, folk and hip-hop acts donated 100 jackets, 10 pairs of ski pants, six garbage bags of assorted clothing and one large bag full of winter accessories like hats, gloves, scarves and neck warmers.
Mckay said they also collected 100 pounds of non-perishable food items and raised $602 through the concert’s silent auction, canteen and a few anonymous donations.
After all the clothing is washed and sorted, Mckay said he will personally hand out these donations to homeless people. The money will go towards buying even more winter wear for the city’s most vulnerable citizens.
The food collected will be donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Thompson homeless outreach mentors to distribute as they see fit.
“This event would not be possible without the growing support the community gives us every year,” Mckay wrote in an email to the Thompson Citizen on Jan. 21. “So between the sponsors, artists and attendees we just wish to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Although he couldn’t attend Saturday’s concert, fellow organizer Josh Deschambeault told the Citizen Jan 4 that members of his hip-hop collective Poetry in Motion, including Mckay, started this event over four years ago.
“Me and a couple of buddies were talking about wanting to do something for the homeless epidemic in the north,” he said. “So we decided that our best bet to bring awareness, because we’re all musicians, is to throw a concert, a free concert for the community.”
This year’s line-up included Amy Caldwell and Josh Cain, Brendan Rhodes, Justin Sobey, John Ham, Aaron Bola, Jasyn Lucas and Between the Ditches.