by Elaine Murphy, OT, Program Services Manager & Amanda Beales, RD, Interprofessional Educator, Toronto Rehab Bickle Centre, UHN

At Toronto Rehab’s Bickle Centre, we want our patients to get up, get dressed and get moving whenever they possibly can.  Research shows that focusing on these three things with our patients can shorten their length of stay in hospital, prevent further loss of mobility and support earlier return to everyday tasks such as bathing and dressing.

At the Bickle Centre, our health care teams encourage family and friends to bring their loved ones clothing, footwear, hearing aids, glasses, dentures etc. to support early mobilization and participation in routine daily tasks.  Unfortunately, not all of our patients are able to access support from friends and family, and turn to the front-line staff at the Bickle Centre to help set them up with these important resources.

The Clothing Cupboard at the Bickle Centre was set up approximately one year ago to meet the needs of our patient community.  Organized by size and category, some patients have commented that visiting the Clothing Cupboard feels like a fun “shopping” experience!  In addition to clothing, we also collect some comfort items such as blankets for those who are chronically cold, and basic housewares to help patients who are being discharged to new homes.

Not only does the clothing cupboard aid those in need, but it helps our environment by keeping landfills free of items that still have value, keeps our homes clutter-free and helps to build generosity within our teams.  Win-win-win.

Items Always Needed at the Bickle Centre:

  • Jogging / sweat pants (elasticated waist pants preferable)
  • Undershirts, T-shirts and sweat shirts
  • Non-skid, flat footwear (no heels)
  • Underwear, bras, belts and socks
  • Coats (spring, fall, winter) and umbrellas
  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes
  • Blankets, bed sheets, dishes, tote-bags etc.

Lisa Carrington, Bickle Social Worker and one of the many champions of this initiative, has witnessed first-hand the positive impact this has had on patients.  Lisa notes, “It’s amazing how you can change a person’s experience by putting a shirt on their back and socks and shoes on their feet.  Donating gently used clothing to someone in need has a huge impact on those less fortunate.”

So, take a moment to boost your ego, clean out your closet, and help the environment while supporting a patient in need.  Contact:  Elaine Murphy,