Kindness Kits helping city's less fortunate stay warm this winter

By Vanessa Ybarra
October 20, 2017 - 6:07pm Updated: October 20, 2017 - 8:33pm

KAMLOOPS — Staying warm at this time of year is a luxury many of us take for granted.

With overnight lows now dipping close to the freezing mark, it's easy enough to put on a few extra layers and bundle up to keep warm.

For the city's homeless and low-income residents, it's almost impossible to keep the cold away.

That's why Second Chances Thrift Store is stepping up with kindness kits that are packed with clothing and other supplies to help the homeless during the winter months.

It's a sorting spree at the BC SPCA Second Chances Thrift Store in downtown Kamloops.

On Friday afternoon volunteers spent hours organizing stacks of winter clothes to be packaged into Kindness Kits for the cities less fortunate. 

Bonnie McBride started the program a month ago.

"Knowing people's tories and seeing how the adverse weather affected them was playing in my mind," said McBride. "I knew that packaging up the kits and making it looking like it had a lot of value was going to have a big part of it being successful."

After sorting donated items by sex and size, the bags and bins are then handed off to volunteers including Olivia and Emma Tranah to make into individual kits.

"We usually take a full bag or two home every week," said Olivia Tranah. "We bag them, and then we bring them back to Bonny and she distributes them."

Each of the kits are packed with items to help the less fortunate withstand winter.

"There's at least one pair of jeans or sweatpants, a couple t-shirts, socks, toques or mitts or whatever else people need."

In the last month the store has distributed close to 150 Kindness Kits to various social agencies including the Jump Program on the North Shore and Ask Wellness.

Volunteer Beth Robins says reaction from the kits is instant.

"The apprecation these people have when they receive one of these things, it's a small thing but people will rip open the bag and put it on right then," said Robins.

The public is encouraged to purchase the kits at the thrift store or $5.

The hope is that with more purchases, even more kits will be packaged and delivered with love.

"They're named Kindness Kits," said Robins. "It's a way to lift people up. We all hit rough patches in life. It's important to have someones back."

 

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