It may only be November, but winter weather has already hit Kamloops hard this year. The early snowfall certainly puts us in the holiday spirit, but it also means vulnerable residents are more susceptible to the cold and other risks.
While there are many ways to support your fellow Kamloopsians through the winter months, quite a few local organizations have put together meaningful Kamloops holiday charity campaigns in support of vulnerable residents.
Here are all the ways you can give back to Kamloops during the 2022 holiday season if you have money to spare.
Emerald House purse drive — until Dec. 14
Local community advocate Patti Phillips is once again collecting gently used purses filled with essential items for vulnerable women this holiday season.
Those interested in contributing can drop off purses and items like socks, deodorant, winter gear, menstrual products and gift cards at Senor Froggy’s at 724 Sydney Ave, Heather’s Fabric Shelf at 1800 Tranquille Rd. and the Castanet Kamloops office at 102-635 Victoria St. before Dec. 14.
Cassie’s Charity Drive — Dec. 1 to 30
One local Grade 11 student is continuing her tradition of raising donations for the community, and this year the proceeds benefit the Kamloops Hospice Association.
Cassie McNutt and her family run Cassie’s Charity Drive every year, lighting up their house at 5215 Dallas Dr. and asking visitors to donate to a charitable cause. This year, participants can enter a silent auction, make cash donations and drop off much-needed items like men’s winter gear, gently used clothing and hospice wishlist items at the McNutt house.
Cassie’s Charity Drive is accepting dropoffs until Dec. 20 and online cash donations until Dec. 30.
Stuff the Bus — Dec. 3 and 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The City of Kamloops and BC Transit are once again partnering up to support the Kamloops Food Bank by asking residents to fill a BC Transit bus with donations.
A BC Transit bus will be parked at the Sahali Save-on-Foods in Columbia Square on Dec. 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and residents are encouraged to stop by and drop off nonperishable goods for the food bank.
This year, Kamloops Food Bank says the following ten items are in the highest demand: tomato sauce, tuna, canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, baby formula, baby food, rice, peanut butter and beans.
The Shoebox Project — Until Dec. 16
The Kamloops Shoebox Project is running now until Dec. 16, when a handful of Kamloops organizations will be gifted wrapped shoeboxes filled with essential items for women in need.
Donors are invited to put together their own shoeboxes, which must be valued at approximately $50 and should only include new items. Each box must include one of the following: a gift card, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, socks and nut-free chocolate or candy.
Shoeboxes can also include optional extra gifts like cosmetics, cold-weather accessories, skincare and self-care products.
The shoeboxes will be handed out to Kamloops organizations supporting women, including the Elizabeth Fry Society of Kamloops, Emerald Hostel, A Way Home Kamloops Youth Housing, Family Tree, the First Steps Program, the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre and the Y Emergency Woman’s Shelter.
The 2022 dropoff location is 207-1211 Summit Dr. in the Abbott Wealth Management office. More information about how to put together a shoebox can be found on the Kamloops Shoebox Project website.
Campout to end youth homelessness — Dec. 9
If you’re looking for a more personal way to raise money for the community this holiday season, A Way Home Kamloops Society has the event for you. On Dec. 9 in McDonald Park, participants in the annual campout to end youth homelessness will sleep outside in cardboard boxes to honour local youth without homes.
Those taking part are asked to raise pledges for the society, which offers young residents housing, education and life skills and employment training. A Way Home Kamloops hopes to raise $150,000 in donations this year.
The Mustard Seed 12 Days of Christmas — Dec. 12 to 23
The Mustard Seed Kamloops’ holiday charity event is back this winter — the faith-based nonprofit is running its 12 Days of Giving campaign to provide vulnerable residents with essential items.
On each day of the campaign, donors are encouraged to bring a different type of donated item to help clients of the charity. Winter gloves, mitts, thermal wool socks, toques, hand warmers, mylar blankets, men’s & women’s small-size underwear, long thermal underwear, lotions, lip balm, adult backpacks, tampons, pads, travel-size toiletries, nail kits, hairbrushes and combs are the most in-need items this year.
Those wishing to contribute can either make a financial donation online or purchase items to drop off with the organization. This year, donations can be brought to the Mustard Seed’s outreach centre at 181 West Victoria St. Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.