A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)

Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

A Summerland woman is raising money to supply backpack care packages for people being released from correctional centres around the province.

Yvonne Kaiser is filling each backpack with items including a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, as well as winter items.

A fundraising campaign was created on Oct. 26 at https://ca.gf.me/v/c/45xw/second-chance-backpacks. By the afternoon of Oct. 27, the campaign had already raised $175.

READ ALSO: 4 inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre granted early release due to COVID-19

READ ALSO: B.C. man sues corrections officers after fellow inmate dies in transfer van

“Many individuals reintegrating into the community do not know where they will spend the night, where their next meal will come from, or where to find the support they require to start over. In addition to these burdens, they are facing the stigmatization and traumas associated with being incarcerated,” Kaiser said.

She explained that those being released from custody often leave with nothing but a clear, plastic garbage bag to carry their belongings.

“As someone who has been working in the justice system for three years, I would like to fix this by providing individuals with a care package upon re-entry into the community, packages will include hygiene products and other essential items to help give clients a jump start when leaving custody,” she said.

“This will help counter some of the stigmatization associated with incarceration and enable clients to put their limited monetary funds toward things like housing, food, and ID application fees.”

All funds raised will go towards assembling these care packages.

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