The South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) is hoping to fill 50 backpacks this winter for those in need as a part of their Light up a Life campaign.
The backpacks are all filled with warm essentials, including gloves and socks as well as toiletries, food gift cards, a Christmas treat and card.
“They’ve already been dropping off backpacks filled with things like warm socks, flashlights, mitts, toques, snacks, some of them have gift cards for hot drinks and hot food, emergency blankets, long underwear,” said SOWINS executive director Liz Gomes. “We try to we’re aiming for 50 backpacks, that’s how many we distributed last year.”
The society plans to deliver the backpacks in late December to dozens of people who are experiencing homelessness.
The campaign first started a couple of years ago as an extension of their ‘Share the Spirit’ holiday campaign.
“Our mobile outreach van, outreach workers, can take these out when they’re out in the evenings connecting with those without a home and ensuring that they have some warm, safe items for the holidays,” said Gomes. “But also, a little bit of hope and cheer as well which we put in with a little gift card and some chocolates so that they have a little bit of something festive as well for them.”
SOWINS is reaching out to the public for more help through monetary donations. Or people can buy a complete backpack.
Community members who want to donate a backpack can fill one up, label whether it’s for a man or a woman and drop it off at SOWINS at before December 13. Information on what is needed or how to donate can be found on the SOWINS’ website.