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Posted on October 06 2023


   As of Monday December 20th/2021 this season's 15th Anniversary Spread the Warmth Contactless Coat Drive is over. If you have donations we will still gladly accept these on behalf of our recipients up and until December 31/2021.

An astounding number of Coats and Accessories totaling over 1197 Items were collected on behalf of Grace Place, Shelter House Thunder Bay and Precious Bundles... Even during these challenging times our community has done it again.  We cannot thank everyone enough for their support locally for those less fortunate.

The Gear Up For Outdoors Family.

This Year's winners of (5) $100.00 Gift Cards courtesy of Tom and Bob from the Keg have been contacted as to their gracious support this year.

L. Nishimura
K. Kurushima
P. Courtis
A. DiBiagio
R. Pelletier


From Grace Place - Jan 3/2022
Dear Jon and Staff; 

Each and every year we depend on Spread the Warmth winter coat drive to provide warm winter coats for our clients. Each year I worry if everyone will be warm enough and have the coats and the winter clothing needed to survive the cold winters Thunder Bay can dish out.  

We are so pleased to be set at ease again this year as this coat drive did not disappoint and has provided for the needs of the most vulnerable here in the city. We have a bit of a buffer left and hope that this will carry us through until the spring melt arrives.  

Thank you to everyone who continues to put forth all the effort it takes to make it the success it is! 

Thank you Gear Up for Outdoors, sponsors and everyone who donated this year and we look forward to working together again in the near future.  

Pastors Gary, Melody and Sha
Grace Place ~ Out of the Cold   


Welcome to the 15th Annual Gear Up For Outdoors Spread the Warmth Contactless Winter Coat Drive for 2021.

Due to the on going Covid-19 concerns Gear Up For Outdoors has spent many hours with our staff, partners & recipients to ensure we can mitigate any risks & provide protocol that is meaningful & keeps safety top of mind.

The Need for this community for cold weather jackets & coats during these unprecedented times will be enormous and I’m sure our community will as they have done over the past 15 years, be up to the Challenge to Spread the Warmth. We are the City with the Giant Heart.


                                 2021 Contactless Winter Coat Drive Poster

Gear Up For Outdoors Ltd. COVID-19 Safety Protocol:

  • All Coats & Jackets must be washed & clean 
  • Store them in an individual clear plastic bag  - 1 Jacket per bag
  • Gender & Size marked on each bag
  • Drop off at Gear Up ~ Right Side Entrance Door
  • Laundry Bin Drop Off Site
  • Enter in store, a draw for 1 of [5] $100.00 Keg Gift Cards.
  • Jackets are held in quarantine in separate rolling laundry bins
  • Separated for Children, Women & Men in Gear Up's back warehouse
  • Weekly Pick-Up by Shelter House S.O.S. Van for distribution.


What's Happening Thunder Bay with Fiona Gardiner...

                                  2021 Media Press Release

                2021 Media Day with all our Spread the Warmth Partners!
Pastor Sha Thaleiwah - Grace Place, Michelle Jordan - ED Shelter House, The Honourable Patty Hajdu - MP Thunder Bay ~ Superior North, Jon Wynn - Co Owner Gear Up, Bob Stewart & Tom Pazianos - The Keg, Emily Shandruk - Precious Bundles. 


We have the most incredibly kindhearted & supportive customers!
Each and Every Year one of our customers Hand Knits & Collects Mitts & Toques for our Friends at Precious Bundles & Shelterhouse Thunder Bay.
Thank you so much for your incredible support.


Wow... Look at these "Handmade" Leather & Faux Fur Mittens dropped off today exclusively for someone at Shelter House... A labor of love too be sure... Thank you...


Thank you to the Thunder Bay S.O.S. Street Outreach Services Team for picking up the first bags of coats for the start of the 2021 Season.
It takes a team to drive a campaign to the goal line... Thank You So Very Much. ♥️



  Certificate of Appreciation presented to Gear Up For Outdoors from the Honourable Patty Hadju MP Thunder Bay - Superior North.



         Thanks Patty Hajdu for all of your support since day #1... 15 years ago.
          We found a home for all those winter parkas back when you were the
          ED for Shelter House.  


                           Contactless Drop-Off for 2020. Ken Boshcoff

After discussions with Precious Bundles, Shelterhouse & Grace Place they find the following will be critical this season;

  • This year if you are cleaning your closet and come across a clean warm sleeping bag...  the need is dire for providing warmth to those on the street... The SOS Van will be providing them in their nightly visitations.
  • Precious Bundles; Smaller Kids & Youth sizing
  • Shelter House/Grace Place; larger Men's & Women's sizing 
  • Shelter House will have a Donation Box & Private Envelopes located at Gear Up's Front Counter for any Monetary Donations.


  • Media Release - Thunder Bay Newswatch
  • Monday October 4th - 11:00am at Gear Up For Outdoors 894 Alloy Place
  • Special Guest: The Honourable Patty Hajdu - Minister of Health Canada. Patty was the ED of Shelter House 15 Years ago when we launched the Spread the Warmth Campaign.
  • Coat Drive Dates: Monday October 4th thru to Friday December 17th, 2021
  • Draw Date: Monday December 20th, 2021 all winners will be notified.
  • Drop Off Location: Gear Up For Outdoors Ltd. 894 Alloy Place [Off of Central Avenue]


The days are getting shorter and colder, let’s get ready to "Spread the Warmth" 

Thank you Thunder Bay for supporting our 15th Anniversary Season and our community partnership between Gear Up For Outdoors, Shelter House, Grace Place, Precious Bundles, and The Keg Steakhouse & Bar.

So many in our community are blessed by the donations of your winter coats. There is never trouble finding a warm fit for those in need. The generosity of our community & outlying areas has always left a lasting impression on all those who benefit from your generous donations.  

This Event would not be complete without mentioning our partners; The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, TBaytel as well as our Media Partners; Dougall Media, The Walleye and Shout Media.

Numerous businesses within our community encourage their employees, friends and families to "Spread the Warmth" and give generously for those in need; 

A Special thanks for the following businesses and their employees;
Grant Thornton, RBC, Canada BrokerLink, Push Fitness, Maintain Air/Porter and Sleeping Giant Brewery.

With the cold weather upon us we thank the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce for their invaluable network of business owners for getting the word out to their employees, friends and families for the 2021 Spread the Warmth Winter Coat Drive Campaign. 

The Staff at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Center TBRHSC are so deserving.

The North of Superior Health Group "NOSH" [Terrace Bay, Marathon & Schreiber Hospitals] collect donations along the North Shore communities and Courtesy Courier brings them to Thunder Bay.

Public School groups also help in collecting jackets & coats for this annual community event.

A special thanks to Lowery's Thunder Bay for the exposure of the Spread the Warmth Campaign on their digital signboard on Central Avenue. 

Supreme Cleaners & Lakehead Cleaners have been gracious in providing Clean Sorting Laundry Bins. Thanks so very much Pinot.

Thanks to Katherine & Gary Sanwald one of our long time customers. During the off season they purchase clothing & accessories from the local Thrift Stores in town and donate them to our Coat Drive. Thank so very much Gary & Katherine.

In Support of Shelter House Thunder Bay & Precious Bundles

The Staff of Gear Up for Outdoors has given their time generously over the past 15 years; a true testament to the success of this community based project.

Gear Up For Outdoors & The Keg Steakhouse, presents the Spread the Warmth Contactless Winter Coat Drive. Be a a part of something great this winter and bring in any of your Clean [Covid-19 Protocol] winter jackets/coats and they will be donated to our friends at Precious Bundles, The Shelter House & Grace Place. Grace Place is the distribution center for all of the jackets & coats collected on behalf of Shelter House Thunder Bay.  

    For every donation collected you will receive;

    • A chance to win 1 of 5, $100.00 Keg Steakhouse & Bar Gift Certificates.
    • Gear Up For Outdoors will give you a 10% Discount on the purchase price of a new winter jacket.
    • Draw & Winners will be notified on Monday Dec 20th. Just in time for Christmas Gift Giving.

    One of 5 $100.00 Gift Cards
    from Bob & Tom of the Keg Steakhouse & Bar

    The 2021 Gear Up For Outdoors Event Team