Chase the Chill Regina
I went for a walk in Wascana Park the other day to take some winter photos. It was minus 26 degrees Celsius. The cold seeped into my muscles and bones within minutes, even though I was fully dressed for winter with a huge parka, toque, boots, and mittens. By the time I had been out for 20 minutes, the skin on my legs (that were covered in heavy denim) was feeling numb – and there was no wind! My fingers couldn’t hit the shutter release button on my camera without feeling clumsy, and my camera had slowed right down.
Providing winter gear for those who need it
Now, can you imagine being outside without even a hat, mitts or scarf, much less the big parka and winter boots? This is unfortunately sometimes a reality for the homeless or those who spend their nights inside but their days outside in the elements. Luckily, there are those who are thinking of people who need to survive in such circumstances, and one of them is Dianne Mursell.
Dianne started a charity called Chase the Chill, Regina. Volunteers take donated scarves, hats and mitts and attach them to trees in Regina. People who need the items take them and use them to keep warm(er) in the cold Saskatchewan winter.
Chase the Chill was started here because Dianne heard about a woman in the US who was handing out winter gear for homeless and needy people, and she thought that if there was a place that might have a need for this type of activity, Saskatchewan was the place. Chase the Chill is a grassroots organization that operates without corporate donors or donations.
Unlike many charities, Chase the Chill doesn’t require registration. Volunteers donate items and more volunteers hang or pin the items on trees and leave. Then, whomever needs a scarf, hat or pair of mitts, takes them. It’s a fairly simple premise, but there is always a need for more donated items and volunteers.
The donated items are tied or pinned to trees in the areas of the city where the need is the greatest. The first year they primarily went to Victoria Park but now they also go to the Core Community Park, North Central, as well as around Soul’s Harbour Mission and the Salvation Army Men’s Home.
If you want to get involved, you can either donate items, or your organization can arrange to collect items and help with hanging. Chase the Chill is looking for both types of volunteers. This is a group that is run strictly on volunteer hours, and since this winter is not supposed to be very warm, they need some help. If you are like me, you have a ton of scarves and toques that aren’t being used any more, but you kept them because they are in good shape and it’s a shame to throw them away.
If you want to donate clean, good-condition scarves, toques and mitts (no boots or coats, as they have to be able to be hung on a tree), you can drop them off at 43 Wilkie Road (south Regina) and the other at 412 N. Fairway Road in NW Regina. They can be left at the front door or on the doorsteps if no one is home.
If you or your organization wants to get involved in a bigger way, they are looking for organizations to collect items themselves and place them about once a month – remember you only have to do this, at most, for 4 or 5 months out of the year. You can find Chase the Chill via Twitter at @chasechill_yqr or on Facebook at @chasethechillRegina. I will also try to put any organized dates on my Twitter page @iheartreginask1 and Facebook page @iheartregina.
The next hanging day is January 28th, and they are always looking for volunteers. I am planning on being there, so come and say hi if you decide to join in the fun. I will be wearing a huge grey parka, which makes me channel my inner Michelin Man – so if you don’t know me, I will be the grey fluffy person. I am not sure of the place or time yet, but once I know, I will update this post plus I will put it on my Facebook page.
Have a great week and try to stay warm, Regina!