The Parksville Museum gathered a truckload of much-needed supplies as the area’s homeless head into winter.
“After seeing an article in your newspaper about the Manna Homeless Society, I thought it would be a chance for the Parksville Museum to get involved,” said Treasurer Shirley Picard.
She contacted the society’s Robin Campbell about what they needed and put notices online and at their last two summer markets.
“I couldn’t believe the response. Not only do we live in paradise, but we have some of the most generous people living here,” she said.
“What a great day for Manna and the less fortunate,” said Campbell. “What a group of kind generous people.”
“We’re in a real fix right now,” he said, explaining that on top of the usual challenges, the dry summer meant a number of people weren’t able to do landscape work and are particularly under-equipped for the cold wet weather.
He said the museum donation of sleeping bags, backpacks, clothing, metal water containers, and a lot of other specifically needed items, was great. He also said that while everyone means well, Manna often gets donated items they can’t use.
Picard also helped secure a $1,000 donation from her brother’s Zen and Doreen Moisey Trust Fund in Edmonton, because “they realized that we have more homeless living here because of our warmer weather, and they wanted to help.”
Campbell said he was really surprised and impressed with the cheque, which will help buy things to fill the gaps in the items they receive.
He listed key things they need, mostly related to outdoor living, like tarps, tents, winter clothing, socks, underwear, toiletries, candles, emergency blankets as well as non-perishable food and water.
He said their used bike program is going great, having passed more than 100 bikes on from people who weren’t using them to people throughout the region who now use them as essential transportation. They are always looking for more bikes in good shape, Campbell said, pointing out they can’t afford to repair them.
“These people aren’t out there because they want to be there,” Picard said. “They’re there due to an injury, or health issues, or abuse or some other reason. We want to help make people more aware of what’s happening.”
For more details or to donate contact Manna at 250-248-0845, www.mannahomelesssociety.com or P.O. box 389, Errington, V0R 1V0.