Calgary charity Stephen’s Backpacks is making sure every kid receives some Christmas cheer this holiday season.
The charity has been handing out backpacks to children in need for 13 years.
Stephen McPhee started the project when he was just five-years-old after overhearing his parents talk about homeless Albertans.
“I soon learned that not everyone has a place to live,” McPhee said. “I thought it wasn’t right so I wanted to help.”
Since 2006, the charity has delivered 64,000 backpacks to several local non-profits including Inn from the Cold and the Medicine Hat Woman’s Shelter Society.
The kits include hats, mittens, toiletries, a blanket, and an age-appropriate toy.
On top of trying to deliver more backpacks than ever, this year also holds special meaning for Stephen.
Stephen’s father Jim McPhee was the charity’s president until he passed away in 2017 from cancer.
- U.S. releases video of ‘unsafe’ manoeuvre by Chinese warship in Taiwan Strait
- David Johnston will testify before Parliamentary committee as resignation calls continue
- Conservatives threaten delay to federal budget with 900 proposed amendments
- Quebec in ‘difficult situation’ as tally of wildfires keeps rising, Legault says
Now that Stephen is 18, he’s taken over as president and wants to carry on where his dad left off.
Taking over a large project at a young age also motivates some of the charity’s newer volunteers like Sara Race.
Stephen’s Backpacks hopes to hand out 6,000 backpacks this yea,r and has also started a year-round project called Project Hope, which aims to help out less-fortunate Albertans furnish their homes.
“We get so much and we take it for granted,” Stephen said. “Just to give back could, honestly, be the best Christmas present you could ever give someone.”