1st Annual Care Packs Drive
Monday Dec 14th, 2020
1st Annual Care Packs Drive
I have always been deeply passionate about helping those less fortunate than myself. From donating yearly to buying someone in need of a meal, dinner, I feel very strongly about supporting our community. This year I decided to give back this holiday season. I have always wanted to contribute in some way during the holidays and I felt that this was the year to start doing that. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to do something positive in a year that has had a lot of negative. In discussions with Jessalyn (Mortgages with Jessalyn) and Kacie (Digital DragonFly), we decided to pool our resources and donate care packages to our city's less fortunate.
1st Step – The Idea
The first thing we did was decide on what we wanted to do. I am a true believer in not just the deed, but also the action. So, we decided that we should not only donate the care packs but also be the ones to deliver them in person. I love being able to see the smile on someone’s face and so the face to face, the personal touch is really important to me.
Kacie created a social media post for all of us to share with our network, so that if anyone wanted to help us with our project they could. The overwhelming support was amazing. From people offering to help with donations to people contributing their time. Jennifer one of my good friends reached out and offered to talk to us about how to best approach our care packs drive. She has been volunteering with the Bear Clan Patrol Calgary for the last year. (Jennifer has an amazing story and I am writing a blog about her soon)
Meeting up with Jennifer was the best thing we could have done to ensure our care packs went to those who need them most and that they were filled with the essentials that would make the most difference. We had thought personal hygiene items such as mini shampoo and conditioner, would be perfect for our care packs. After talking with Jennifer, we realized that there were different items that could be put to better use. And so, after the meeting we came up with our care packs items:
- Warm socks
- Hand and feet warmers
- Protein bars
- Antibacterial wipes
- Bottles of water
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Jennifer also offered to take us downtown to deliver the care packs. As a volunteer with Bear Clan Patrol Calgary, Jennifer knows where the most impactful places to drop off our care packs would be. We of course took her up on her generous offer.
2nd Step – Purchasing for the Care Packs
Go out and get all the items! We also updated our social media post to include an improved list of essentials. Again, the support from family and friends was incredible. Some donating money and others donating the essential items. Kacie, Jessalyn, and I had our list and checked it twice, getting everything, we needed for our Care Packs. All the care pack items were then dropped at my place and my mom (she is the best!!) and I assembled the packs.
3rd Step – Care Pack Delivery
So, with our 50 Care Packs in a wagon, we set off to deliver on Thursday, December 10th. Jennifer met us at Char Bar downtown, and we started our route. Delivering the packs was important to me, I wanted that personal touch. I am glad we did! Being able to see the smile on someone’s face after letting them know that we had a few items for them, warmed my heart. This year has been tough for so many people, I wanted to spread just a little hope & kindness.
Next Year – Bigger & Better
This year’s drive was just the beginning! We hope to make it bigger year after year. A lesson learned was to start preparing early. Wanting to make it bigger next year we are going to start collecting items earlier in the year. Getting a stockpile of great items to put in the packs. I also would like to donate backpacks and purses next year instead of reusable bags. I think a backpack or purse will be used for much longer than a reusable bag, so I would like to look at that for next year. Going forward we will continue to donate ourselves, but I would like to get some more community involvement. We might set up a drop off location for a few weeks prior to our delivery date next year to drum up some more local support.
Taking time during the holiday season to give back felt extra important this year given the pandemic and how so many people have been
affected. It was really eye-opening to go out and hand-deliver care packages throughout Calgary, I feel very humbled and blessed to be able to work together with women in my community to help fellow Calgarians.
For our first year this was a huge success, thank you to those who donated. We plan to make each year even bigger and better. Stay safe and be kind to each other.
This experience was humbling. Giving back in even a small way can make a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes we forget that people are people no matter where their lives have taken them. I feel blessed to know and work with people that know an act of kindness no matter how big can make a difference. Thank you, Bobbie Lynn, for inviting me to partake in giving back to the community. This year was a great success and I know that next year we will be able to make an even bigger impact.
Huge Shout Out to Our Supporters
We want to say a huge THANK-YOU to everyone that donated to our 1st Annual Care Packs Drive. Every donation was put to good use and was very much appreciated. You made a difference in 50 people's lives, it may be small on a world scale, but the act was huge for those individuals you touched.
An extra THANK-YOU to Chinook Mall Family Dental Clinic & Dr. Stewart Charchuk for donating all the toothbrushes and toothpaste!!