The Downtown Internet Lounge is inviting customers to go online while at the same time giving back to the community, with a backpack and food drive for Christmas.
“Giving back to our community is something that has been very important to us since day one,” said Josh Brazier, with the Downtown Internet Lounge. “While none of us here are anywhere close to being rich, we are all blessed with the basic necessities that many often take for granted.
“Far too many people become so wrapped up in having the latest and greatest and forget just how fortunate they are to not only live in a place as beautiful as Vernon, but to enjoy some of the finer things in life that many only dream of experiencing. We encourage these people to take a second to reflect on just how comfortable their lives are and instead of spending money on themselves for the next must-have materialistic item, instead help those in need.”
To that end, the Lounge is collecting backpacks for the Upper Room Mission’s annual backpack drive.
“In an attempt to raise awareness as well as encourage our clientele and the general public, we have decided to reward those that participate, with free time to play games or use the computers at our establishment,” said Brazier.
In exchange for three free hours of Internet usage, clients are asked to bring in a backpack filled with items such as deodorant, soap and face cloth, toothbrush, tooth paste, comb/brush, Kleenex, socks, razors, hand warmers, pen and pad, candy or chocolate or anything that someone may find useful.
“Our goal at the beginning of December was to gather 30 backpacks. We have had some very impressive support thus far but are still a little ways away from our goal.”
The Lounge has extended its backpack collecting until Sunday before handing them over to the mission. Any additional backpacks that are collected will be made available throughout the year for anyone in need.
Backpacks can be dropped off at the Upper Room Mission, 3403-27th Ave., or the Downtown Internet Lounge, 2919-30th Ave., next to the Towne Theatre in downtown Vernon.
In addition, the Lounge has joined forces with the Salvation Army Food Bank to collect non-perishable food items.
In exchange for five donations of non-perishable food items, customers earn one free hour of Internet time, while 10 items is the equivalent of three free hours.
“We had some customers really getting into the spirit by bringing 20 items. We were happy to provide them with six free hours, an amount that would normally cost them about $20.
“So we encourage people to clean out their cupboards or fill up a backpack and head down to the Lounge to game it up for charity.”