When Sarah Cornett moved to Peterborough and became the YES Shelter’s new Emergency Shelter Manager, little did she know that among the challenges she would face would be underwear. Yes, underwear! The YES Shelter for Youth and Families provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, education, food and clothing support to youth and families. “We always seem to have ample second-hand clothing that our clients can sort through to find what they need for themselves or their children,” says Cornett. “But understandably, no one wants to wear second-hand underwear….so we find ourselves in constant short supply.”
At a recent meeting Cornett met fellow Peterborough newcomer Rev. Debora Rolls of St. Paul’s Presbyterian church and relayed this need. St. Paul’s has decided to try to address the need by holding two “Undie Sundays”, March 19th and 26th at their church. “We are encouraging our congregants to purchase new underwear or boxer briefs of any size to contribute,” says Rolls. “If members of the community would like to contribute, they can do so on these Sundays, or come by our offices at The Mount Community Centre at 1545 Monaghan Road Wednesdays – Fridays 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. between March 20th and 27th.”
Pastor Rolls would also challenge other local Peterborough churches to follow suit and hold their own “Undie Sundays.” “If other area churches do an underwear drive, St. Paul’s volunteers are willing to pick-up and deliver their contributions to the YES Shelter,” she says.
Cornett is pleased to have this support. “Having clean, new underwear is such a basic human need,” she says. “I’m thankful to our local church community who continually step up to help the YES Shelter support young people and families through homelessness.”