Background: What it’s all about
Warm Em Up! is an annual campaign benefiting individuals living with serious mental illness. We also work to build mental health literacy.
Did we hear you need new socks + underwear? You’ve got it!
A UBC Psychiatry Research Assistant started the campaign in 2006 as an initiative to combat stigma and meet specific needs – needs communicated by the recipients themselves. She saw that it was much easier to focus on your mental health when your basic day-to-day needs are being met. We have stayed with the basics (new socks + underwear) while our community of supporters has grown exceedingly extraordinary over the years.
Donations drop off after the fundraising-rich holiday season. Plus, these items aren’t typically donated. Each year, a community-based mental health provider is chosen as the beneficiary, and the Warm Em Up! team and our sponsors undertake a targeted item drive and mental health awareness campaign to show our fellow citizens they are being heard.
Warm Em Up! then hosts a fun distribution event February 14th for the recipients, led by our Chief Warmbassador (that former RA we mentioned), mental health field professionals, researchers, and of course our friends. Valentine’s Day can be an especially difficult time. The event is strategically timed to meet a common need… and provide a little love. There are great conversations, lots of smiles and a little bit of warmth for a lot of people. The recipient organization is provided all extra items for their outreach team, advocates and shelters to distribute as they deem necessary.
Warm Em Up! has long been partnered with the University of British Columbia’s Translational Psychiatric Genetics Group (TPGG) thanks to our Chief Warmbassador’s long term membership on their great research team.
If you would like to learn more about the Warm Em Up! campaign, please leave a message so that we can keep you up to date!