VICTORIA- The University of Victoria men’s basketball team is embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season.  The Vikes are running a sock and underwear drive next week on Dec. 10-11 in the CARSA front lobby from 1-2 p.m. New or properly cleaned underwear and socks will be accepted and everyone who makes a donation will also be entered into a draw to win a Vikes prize package.

The men’s basketball team will be taking all the collected items and making a donation to Our Place, an inner-city community centre in downtown Victoria whose focus is to help Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens such as the working poor, impoverished elderly, the mentally or physically challenged, homeless and people who struggle with addiction.

“When we approached Our Place we asked how our team could help the most this holiday season,” said Vikes head coach Craig Beaucamp. “They told us that most people in need don’t have access to a washing machine so items such as underwear and socks have to been thrown away after being worn for a few days so a clothing drive to gather those items would be the best way our team could help.”

Our Place is the product of an amalgamation made between two of Victoria’s most active social organizations called The Upper Room Society and The Open Door.

The Upper Room Society was founded in 1967 and was originally a coffee house intended to provide anyone shelter from the rain.  The Open Door was founded in 1986 to give a place for people to escape the weather and receive unconditional love in a non-judgmental way.  With similar goals and values the two organizations worked closely together for many years until they finally teamed up on 2005 and created Our Place.