News file photo In 2017, Kwalikum Secondary Students pack up socks they collected for the less fortunate in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

SD69 schools collect pyjamas, socks for domestic abuse survivors

Donations help provide Christmas meal with all the trimmings at safe house

A Parksville Qualicum Beach project is helping people who have fled from domestic abuse have a warm Christmas meal.

In 2013, Aimee Falkenberg, co-ordinator of the forensic nurse examiner program for the central and north Island, started collecting new pyjamas in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region for women and children who enter a safe house after leaving a violent situation.

“Quite often they arrive at the safe house with literally nothing,” Falkenberg said. “For the last five years I’ve been collecting hundreds and hundreds of new pyjamas.”

Related: The Backpack Project — a warm way to help

Related: Purses give a ‘sense of hope’

This year, Falkendberg said, without the help from Arrowview Elementary School and Kwalikum Secondary School (KSS) the project may not have been possible.

“KSS collected 203 brand new socks… and Arrowview Elementary School has collected hundreds of pyjamas within their classroom,” Falkenberg said. “Without them honestly this project wouldn’t have come forward because they collected so much.”

Other community members, along with Falkenberg, have joined together to create an enitre Christmas meal for everybody who will be in the safe house on Christmas breakfast and dinner.

There is one safe house in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region that Falkenberg said is high risk.

“Somebody that has fled from domestic violence would be placed in this high risk home to be kept safe,” she said.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to this cause can email Falkenberg at aimee.falkenberg@viha.com.

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