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Mixed emotions for Drive on the Line organizer

Greg Ould pointed to the fact 2,300 people will be a little warmer this winter, but lamented the fact it was their lowest collection yet

There were mixed emotions for Greg Ould after his 12th annual Drive On The Line last weekend.

After all, his massive blanket drive across a number of Canada Line stations had managed to gather an impressive 2,300 blankets to help the less fortunate stuck out in the cold this winter.

But it was the lowest number he and his merry band of volunteers at Blanket BC had been able to collect since his initiative started with his father all those years ago.

“There have been many changes since the pandemic and, due to a huge lack of funding, advertising was the number one concern from those who volunteered and donated,” said Ould, who works on the Canada Line.

“It was Lansdowne and Brighouse (stations) who had the most volume of donations out of the nine stations we had going.

“We haven’t counted the money cans yet, but we can tell just by the weight, the funds collected will be our lowest to date. None of the cans were filled.”

Ould said Friday was a “very rough start” due to a serious lack of volunteers and major train delays in the morning.

“The Canada Line staff were incredibly helpful and so professional. They helped immensely,” he added.

“Saturday was much better, as we had more ‘blanketeers’ supporting the event. It’s why we do a two-day drive, the first day is for advertising and the second to collect.”

We were cold, but that's the point: Ould

Ould said he and his son, Ben, worked over 15 hours each day plus another eight on Sunday.

“We were exhausted, we were cold, but that’s the point!

While some organizations “create fun events that are comfortable and pretty much easy…Blanket BC wants people to experience what it’s like to be uncomfortable in the cold.

“It gives you a small sense of what people have to go through 24/7. Our blanketeers are the best volunteers you could ever have!

“Over 2,300 people are going to be a little warmer this winter because of this incredible event and the generosity of our beautiful community.”