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Saint John business owner giving back one warm piece of clothing … – Global News

After seeing overwhelming support for local businesses during the 2021 holiday season, Jill Laskey began looking for a way to give back in her new home of Saint John.


What followed was the “warming wall” which returned for the second year in a row this month.

“There was this huge push from the city of Saint John to support local so I had tonnes of people coming in and buying a lot of Christmas presents,” she said.

“So I wanted to give back to the community.”

The wall is a collection of warm clothing — from sweaters and hats, to pajamas and scarves — outside Laskey’s store in Saint John City Market. It’s left out at all times of day, allowing anyone in need to drop by and grab an item at any time.

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Laskey collects donations to put on the wall, along with plenty of her own crochet items she makes throughout the year. She hopes the items can play a small part in helping others.

“I just hope that somebody feels good about themselves when they put their clothes on,” she said.

“I just want people to feel good about themselves and (to know) that people care. We do care here and we want everyone to be safe.”

The wall has caught on with other vendors in the City Market. Linda Cooke, who sells maps and prints from New Brunswick just a stone’s throw away, has donated a large number of items over the past two years. She says the initiative addresses a growing need in the community.

“Well it’s a wonderful reason and wonderful cause and I thoroughly support the idea of having everybody as warm as possible,” she said.

Laskey is original from Toronto and moved to Darlings Island during the pandemic. Her father is from Saint John and part of the draw to the area was to reconnect with her roots.

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And now she’s doing what she can to give back to her adopted community.

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“Doing things like this helps you belong, when we take care of each other,” she said.

“I really do feel that Saint John is about taking care of each so when we are taking care of each other, it feels like a community, doesn’t matter where you’re from.”

The warming wall will be up for the rest of the month, with leftover items donated to charity, before it returns again next year.

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