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Warm hearts, warm hands
Volunteers will be handing out clothing to the homeless in memory of the late Charlie Delorme this Valentines Day

Cody Punter
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Valentines Day is usually a time to buy a box of chocolates or flowers for your significant other but, this year, one Yellowknifer has decided to reach out to send some love to those most in need.

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Volunteer Rhea Monpetit sorts through clothing for Warm Hearts, Warm Hands. The clothing will be donated to homeless people Feb. 15 in honour of Charlie Delorme. - Cody Punter/NNSL photo

On the Saturday after Valentine's Day, a group of volunteers will be handing out warm clothing as part of an event called Warm Hearts, Warm Hands.

The event was organized by Dave Zethof in honour of the late Charlie Delorme, the homeless man who donated tens of thousands of dollars to charity before dying last fall.

Zethof said he had been thinking about doing a clothing drive for a while but Delorme gave him the inspiration he needed to finally put something together.

"He was such a courageous guy. I just thought we could do something in his memory," he said.

"Instead of the usual taking your partner out on for dinner or a date, we're extending the love to everybody else in town."

Zethof began planning the event a few weeks ago by starting a Facebook group. Within the first two days of the page being

up, 10 people had volunteered to help him run the event.

Lydia Bardak, who runs Yellowknife's homeless shelter, is one of the people who has been helping Zethof out.

She said it is amazing how many people Delorme inspired with his acts of kindness.

"It's pretty impressive when a young person steps up like that," said Bardak of Zethof, who is just 25.

"All of us in our organizations sits around saying 'Who's got the time? Who's got the talent? Who can do this?' and Dave's just stepped up and said this is what I want to do."

Zethof said he chose to hold the event in February because it is a time when people tend to forget about those in need.

"It's still cold, it's dark and there's not much going on. Christmas is over and people have stopped donating things," he said.

So far Zethof has collected approximately 40 to 50 pairs of gloves, 40 hats, several scarves as well as some snow pants and jackets.

"We've got so many donations," said Zethof.

He said he is no longer looking for people to donate smaller items but encouraged people to drop of pants and jackets.

Anyone interested in making donations can do so at Ragged Ass Barbers, Sutherlands Drugs or the first floor of the Diamond Plaza building.

Any additional items will be donated to various charitable organizations around Yellowknife.

Bardak will be joining Zethof and other volunteers outside the Yellowknife Post Office from 1 to 3 p.m.

"He was inspired by Charlie, but I hope other people are inspired by him," said Bardak.

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