Teresa Schmidt (left)

Backpacks filled with hope

Upper Room Mission Christmas backpacks collected by All Saints Anglican Church

A flood isn’t dampening the Christmas spirit.

A broken water main has closed Vernon’s Upper Room Mission but the collection of backpacks for clients will continue through All Saints Anglican Church.

“The backpacks are not only a much appreciated Christmas gift, but a tangible reminder that someone cares,” said Michael Robinson, with All Saints.

The backpacks will be distributed to those in need Dec. 20 during the weekly Saturday soup kitchen at the church.

Residents wanting to donate a backpack are urged to fill them with items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, a brush, soap, a face cloth, socks, a toque, gloves, a scarf, Kleenex, a pen and paper and even candy.

Label your backpack male or female and you can also include a Christmas card if you wish.

“They’re items that are important,” said Lisa Anderson, Upper Room Mission fundraising director.

“We take the items for granted but they’re a big deal for them (clients).”

The backpacks always prove popular with the recipients.

“This may be the only Christmas gift they receive,” said Anderson.

At least 150 backpacks will be needed to meet demand, and Anderson is confident the community will rally.

“People enjoy putting them together,” she said.

Anyone wanting to donate a backpack can drop it off at All Saints Anglican Church (3205 27th Ave.) Tuesday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. The last day for drop-off is Dec. 19.

Donations towards the cost of the Dec. 20 meal  are also being accepted and they can be dropped off at the church.

“Any talented and jolly musicians who are able to entertain at the lunch are asked to e-mail allsaintsvernon@telus.net,” said Robinson.

Support for the Upper Room Mission has also come from the Kala Star Academics and Outdoor School.

Students have been making stockings to give to  residents in need and they have been raising money so oranges and candy can be put in the stockings.

“They want to be sure each and every homeless adult and child in our community receive a special gift from the heart,” states the school’s Facebook page.



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