Kristina Craig, executive director of the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition. (Yukon News file)

Kristina Craig, executive director of the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition. (Yukon News file)

Nearly 250 pieces of outerwear and books distributed in Yukon campaign

Warmth and stories are being shared

Sharing the Warmth also means sharing a Yukon story this holiday season.

For each of the 243 donations that came in for the 2021 Share the Warmth Campaign, a copy of Rachel Finn’s children’s book – A Yukon Winter Coat – was added to holiday hampers being distributed to families around the territory, the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition said in a Dec. 17 statement.

The Share the Warmth program has been an initiative of the Taku Sports Group for more than 25 years.

Customers who bring in a gently used insulated coat or other outwear during the campaign at Coast Mountain Sports receive $50 off their next purchase of $250-plus on outerwear.

“It’s a win-win,” Mary-Jane Warshawski, co-owner of Taku Sports Group, said in a Dec. 20 interview.

As she pointed out, if you have a child who has outgrown their coat or snow pants or you’re thinking of getting a new coat this can be a good way of ensuring the gently used gear goes to someone who will put it to good use while also saving some money on your own purchase.

The 2021 program saw donations surpass amounts from previous years. Warshawski said the program had been getting close to about 200 donations in recent years, so officials were pleased to have more than 240 donations come in this year and officials plan to work to try and surpass that in 2022. She said she was also pleased the clothing brand Icebreaker got in on the program, with a draw for $500 worth of products for anyone who donated their used gear. The draw will happen in the coming days.

The Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition distributed the gear to the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter, the Outreach Van, the Salvation Army, the Teen Parent Centre, CAIRS, Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre, Elijah Smith School and Whitehorse Connects. Many individuals also dropped in to find winter gear at the coalition’s office at 509 Hanson Street.

“We are always happy to be a part of the ‘Share the Warmth’ campaign spearheaded by Coast Mountain Sports,” Kristina Craig, YAPC’s executive director, said. “This year they collected over 240 coats, snow pants and winter gear that we helped distribute to people who needed them in the community.”

Warshawski said it was only after the 2021 Share the Warmth program was done that she learned Finn had donated copies of her book to the hamper programs for every piece of outerwear donated.

“I was absolutely delighted,” Warshawski said. “It just ties in so nicely.”

A Yukon Winter Coat is a story that features many of the creatures that are home in the Yukon and how they adapt to the colder temperatures of a northern winter.

A Christmas reading of the story can be viewed on Facebook.

Warshawski praised Finn for her generosity in providing the book to families around the territory via the hampers distributed by the Share the Spirit campaign, Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre, Boys and Girls Club Yukon and the Child Development Centre.

“Members of YAPC really want to thank all those who are involved in helping make the winter and the holiday season a little easier,” Craig said.

Warshawski said she’d love to see and be part of similar initiatives through Share the Warmth in future years and noted she would look at ways of promoting the book donation as well in the future.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at