A Kemptville woman has created a unique way to give back to the community, while also helping residents in need.
Jennifer Tanner is the Founder and Operator for the Take-What-You-Want tent, an initiative that encourages people to donate good-quality items they no longer need, so that others might find a use for them.
Tanner says it’s her plan to keep the tent up until the lockdown ends.
“I really believe this is tapping into our better nature,” Tanner said. “Who we are as humans is generous, and we hate to see someone suffering, and someone in need. We hate to see waste, and we love things to be effortless.”
All items are free to take, but if you can, Tanner is encouraging cash donations with proceeds going to the House of Lazarus, and the Leeds and Grenville Interval House.
Once the lockdown ends, all leftover essential items will be donated to the Brockville Salvation Army.
“People love to be generous, and it’s so hard with the lockdown,” Tanner said. “It’s so hard for us to reach out and touch our neighbours and say ‘hey, I see you, it’s hard and your needs are valid, and you deserve to have what you need to take care of your kids and yourself.’”
Tanner says it’s her hope that this initiative makes life a little easier for those who are struggling.
If you have any items you’d like to donate, you’re asked to ensure they are quality, in good working condition, and that you sort and organize them into the appropriate category boxes in the tent.
Tanner says these charity boxes include essential items like diapers, personal care products, and other items that people cannot afford for themselves.
“Someone will drop off a box, and the products are used, only half-full, and they’ll be gone the next day,” Tanner said. “That just tugs at my heartstrings that there are people out there who have to choose between being clean and having to feed their children.”
For anyone looking to check out the tent, Tanner says you’re encouraged to read their rules which can be found on their Facebook page.