Kristina Bath

Kristina Bath

Upper Room Mission reaches out to public

Imagine waking up on Christmas Day and eagerly crowding around the tree, only to find nothing with your name on it

  • Dec. 13, 2013 5:00 a.m.

Imagine waking up on Christmas Day and eagerly crowding around the tree, only to find nothing with your name on it.

That’s a very realistic scenario unless the community pulls together for their neighbours who depend on Vernon’s Upper Room Mission.

“It’s looking pretty sad,” said Bev Henke, outreach worker, of the 10 backpacks that have been received when about 150 are needed as Christmas gifts.

The backpacks, which are full of special items, will be handed out Dec. 24 and they are particularly welcome as many of the clients don’t have family in town or relationships are strained.

“It’s vitally important for people to have these backpacks. It’s their only Christmas present,” said Henke.

The backpacks become a critical place to store their limited belongings.

“Some have worn their backpacks all year and they are battered with broken zippers, and they are waiting for a new one,” said Henke.

But beyond the backpack itself, it’s what’s found inside that brings a smile to the face.

Donors can stuff the backpacks with a variety of items, including transit tickets, hygiene products, socks, gloves, candy, crossword puzzles, books, pen and paper and gift cards.

“Put your personal stamp on it. Send a Christmas card or a holiday wish,” said Henke. “We want to give Christmas cheer to people.”

Backpacks should be taken to the mission by Dec. 20 and Henke is confident the community will embrace the spirit of the season.

“The community is always very generous,” she said.

“Add any special little items to make it a unique gift from you,” said Froom.

Backpacks can be dropped off at the Upper Room Mission, 3403 27th Ave. For more information, call 250-549-1231.