March 23, 2015
The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are!
Mike: My name is Mike Schacter and I am Vice President of Fundraising and Coordination for Project Warmth Society of Alberta.
The/Studio: What does your organization do?
Mike: Project Warmth Society of Alberta is a registered charitable organization that provides warm clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, outer wear and related items to the underprivileged and homeless. As well, Project Warmth is involved with school children under its umbrella organizations: Kids’ Koats, Pupils’ Parkas and Students’ Scarves.
The/Studio: What a wonderful organization! What have you learned since starting your organization?
Mike: The biggest thing that we have learned is that the need in Calgary and area, is ever growing. A couple of years ago we had to move to a larger distribution centre and last year we collected, repaired, cleaned and redistributed over 80,000 items of clothing among those in need.
The/Studio: 80,000 items? Wow, that’s a lot! What about your organization are you most proud of?
Mike: Project Warmth Society is unique in that we never charges for our services nor do we require donors to clean items they are donating because we clean and repair every donated item before redistributing among those in need. We have been able to engage hundreds of individuals and corporations to volunteer their time and/or to donate to this worthy cause. Most recently Project Warmth was presented with the Western Legacy Award for their achievements in Calgary and area.
The/Studio: Congratulations on receiving the Western Legacy Award! What are some of the greatest challenges you face with your organization?
Mike: I think that our greatest challenge is keeping up to the ever increasing need out there. We try to never turn anyone away and have at times purchased new items (boots, jackets, etc.) if we do not have what is needed in our warehouse. Raising funds to serve this ever increasing need is becoming more and more challenging in these difficult times.
The/Studio: Where do you see your organization in 10 years?
Mike: I would like to say that there will no longer be a need for our services, but that is just not likely. In 10 years I would expect to see Project Warmth Society having fully operational and Distribution Centers throughout Alberta.
The/Studio: What type of legacy do you want to leave?
Mike: That no one, especially children, will have to suffer our cold winters without appropriate clothing.
The/Studio: That would be a wonderful legacy to leave. What is the story behind the custom product that you produced with The/Studio?
Mike: We needed a high quality name badge for our volunteers to wear at our fundraisers. The Stationery store type name badges always curled or fell off, while The/Studio patches give a professional look, more becoming our charity and our volunteers.
The/Studio: Thank you for choosing The/Studio to create your patches. How are you going to use this custom product?
Mike: Our volunteers will wear the name badges at all of our fundraising and promotional events.
The/Studio: Describe the custom product. What does it means?
Mike: We ordered a custom embroidered name badge featuring our charity logo and name with a writable whitespace for volunteers to write in their names with a sharpie.
The/Studio: Do you have any upcoming events that our community members can attend?
Mike: We currently only hold events in the City of Calgary. Please see our webpage at www.projectwarmth.com
The/Studio: Is there anything our community members can do to help?
Mike: Any donations of clothing, boots, blankets, gloves, mitts, etc. can be dropped off at any city of Calgary fire hall and they will forward the items to Project Warmth Society. If you would like to make cash donations please see our website at www.projectwarmth.com or contact our office by email to [email protected] or by phone at 403-236-3900.
The/Studio: Thank you Mike for sharing your story with us! I know your story will inspire all of our readers!