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Londoners support Mission Services London’s second annual Fill Up the Bus event

Olympian Perdita Felicien and volunteers load donations during Mission Services of London's "Fill Up the Bus" event.
Olympian Perdita Felicien and volunteers load donations during Mission Services of London's "Fill Up the Bus" event. Sawyer Bogdan/980 CFPL

“Every little bit helps.”

That’s what Rachel Ganzewinkel, Communications and PR Coordinator for Mission Services of London wants everyone to know, as they host their second annual Fill Up the Bus collection.

READ MORE: Funding shortfall prompts layoffs, program re-structuring at Mission Services of London (Feb. 22, 2019)

Mission Services is working with volunteers and world champion hurdler and two-time Olympian Perdita Felicien to collect backpacks, school supplies, and non-perishable snacks for kids heading back to school.

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All the donations will be going to help kids and teens, from kindergarten to grade 12, access services at Rotholme Women’s and Family Shelter throughout the year.

“For those experiencing homelessness, for those families who already have very limited budgets, any extra bit helps those children start the school year off on the right foot feeling prepared and ready to succeed,” said Ganzewinkel.

Some of the items collected on the bus during Mission Services of London’s “Fill Up the Bus” initiative.
Some of the items collected on the bus during Mission Services of London’s “Fill Up the Bus” initiative. Sawyer Bogdan/980 CFPL

Felicien said sometimes there can be a stigma associated with those who need help and parents can feel guilty for not being able to do more.

“I was a child that grew up needing social services,” said Felicien. “My mother and sister spent a few months at a women’s shelter.”

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Kingston’s Backpack Campaign is in the Community Spotlight
Kingston’s Backpack Campaign is in the Community Spotlight

She added she never forgot that experience and the impact it had, shaping her as she grew up.

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“Missions Services London is doing great work because they are filling a gap, they are filling a need so that a child does not have to go to school and feel like they are lacking or without,” said Felicien.

Felicien will also be the keynote speaker at Mission Services Fall Banquet and Silent Auction.

Those who missed the collection can still bring donations to the Mission Store on 797 York Street.