Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson

Backpacks make a difference

The public has until Dec. 23 to drop off backpacks, which will be given out Dec. 24, at the Christmas Eve dinner.

KARMEN JANKE

Morning Star Staff

It was one year ago that a massive flood tore through the Upper Room Mission.

However that didn’t stop them from helping the community, and the need continues at the mission where the annual backpack collection is underway.

The flood, which destroyed the kitchen, dining room, walls and the furnace happened in one of the coldest, busiest times of the year on Dec. 1, 2014. But the mission didn’t miss a meal.

Over a 12-week span the community came together to support the mission by sponsoring meals, and lending spaces to feed everyone.

“The community really stepped up to the plate last year. The support we received was truly astonishing. There was a constant flow of happy and humbling tears being shed on a regular basis,” said Lisa Anderson, director of resource development at the Upper Room Mission.

This year, the mission is serving up even more meals as it has gone from about 200 meals served per day this time last year to about 325 to 350 in 2015.

“We are seeing a lot of low income families and seniors,” said Anderson. “We’re seeing new faces all the time.”

With even more people accessing the mission there is an even greater need for support.

As the Christmas Holidays are approaching, the backpack program is up and running and filled backpacks can be dropped off at the Upper Room Mission. Suggestions to fill the bags with include socks, gloves and toques, toiletries, pens and note pads, flashlights, Band-Aids and Kleenex, or even a Christmas card. Backpacks should be labelled whether they are for male or female. The mission normally hands out about 200 backpacks.

“It could mean that’s the only gift they receive this holiday season,” said Anderson. ‘‘It means a world of difference.”

The public has until Dec. 23 to drop off backpacks, which will be given out Dec. 24, at the Christmas Eve dinner.

Another great way to support the mission is by sponsoring a meal. Gather some of your co-workers together or make it a special family event and put together a meal that you can serve up to those in need.

For more information on how you can be a part of the mission during the Christmas giving season, contact Lisa Anderson at 250-549-1231 ext. 29 or email lisa.anderson@vernonurm.org.