The support was amazing even during a pandemic, thank you!
We are thrilled with the all the donations this year.
Please help us fill our backpacks with these most needed items
What a night of confusion… to start with. The cameraman from CTV got to the Jasper Place Health and Wellness Center early. He called and so we said we’d leave right away. I did know from previous experience that we would get there too early and the people would just be sitting down to eat. However we really wanted to get it on CTV this year so we went anyway. Then when we got there he told us he had an emergency and had to leave to the airport to film an accident. The roads were so bad as I’m sure everyone is aware of. So we just handed out the bags at the center. People even came to get one with their plate of supper in one hand. I really wished I would have stuck to ‘my’ schedule…. but what could I do. We went into the center for a few minutes and got our share of hugs and thank yous. We only gave out around 80 at this center.
Then we headed off to Hope Mission. Again we knew we would be too early. Just as we arrived 7:30 pm there were only a couple of men lined up and CTV called saying they would really like to have filmed this and could we wait. We parked the two trucks side by side and had a hot chocolate while waiting for 1 hr. It was an awkward situation to be in. Waiting in a nice warm truck with a cup of hot chocolate while just around the corner people were standing outside freezing. I had a hard time drinking my hot chocolate and it sure got me thinking that for next year (or who knows maybe this year if there is money left over) we need to buy a huge coffee pot that can be plugged into a car lighter and then we can go much more often and offer a warm cup of hot chocolate while they wait. (ANYONE KNOW WHERE WE CAN GET ONE OF THESE????)
So at 8:30 the camera man arrived and just on time because the men outside had just started helping themselves to the bags and I had to make them wait. But then Rob arrived and he filmed the bags being handed out. The first thing everyone asked… are there warm gloves inside and is there hot chocolate inside. We were happy to be able to say yes.
We gave away ALL the men’s bags here and some of the woman’s. A few of the late comers were disappointed that we didn’t have any men’s bags left only woman’s. When we saw that some were getting upset because of that we left.
We started driving away when we saw a little old lady walking toward the Hope Mission. She didn’t see us because she was walking with her head down. My girls jumped out of the truck and walked up to her asking if she’d like a bag with warm clothes. She had been drinking and had started to walk with her coat open and no gloves. She was shaking so badly and just kept saying “I’m soooooo cold.” One girl put the bag on her back while the other zipped up her coat. It would have taken too long to open the bag and find the gloves so Pricilla just ripped off her own mittens and put them on the shaking old lady. Then headed her towards the Hope Mission which was just around the corner… as we coached Pricilla back into the truck saying that was all we can do. We were all frozen ourselves from just minutes at a time outside. Even Rob the cameraman was frozen from a few minutes at a time. Of course I ‘know’ I pretty much Hybernate in winter because I ‘hate’ the cold sooooo much (Guess that’s why God has put the homeless on my heart to start with) so of course I am certainly not well dressed for the cold. My feet and hands were so frozen that I was in real physical pain,even though I kept going into the truck every few minutes. It really made it
clear that I will have to change some of the items for the bags for next year……
We drove to the Mustard Seed but since there were too many people inside, we ended up giving the rest of the ladies bags and all the mini bags to the people in charge to distribute as they see fit. I will be making up a few of the smaller bags to keep in my car at all times and to hand out to random people we see on the street.
We had left at 6 pm and came home at 10. The kids were beat and so were we. I had to put on 2 pair of slippers and 2 sweaters and it took me 2 hours before I could feel ‘normal’ again. And this is me…. hot flash mama who walks around bare arms all day long. Well it just confirmed that I should never never stop thanking God every single night when I get into my warm flannel sheets. But I also know I will never be able to do so without feeling some guilt as to how priviledged we are when there are sooooo many who suffer so.