Everybody Deserves A Smile will begin packaging bags of personal items for the homeless soon.
EDAS, a non-profit society now in its 11th year of operation, works with local school communities and volunteers to create Christmas care packages for those who are homeless.
The care packages contain some of the day-to-day living essentials, such as hygiene items and outerwear.
Students at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary School will make up the bulk of the army of volunteers needed Dec. 11-12 for the local bag-packing event.
But before the bags can be stuffed, items must be donated.
“We have enough of the soap, toothpaste and hygiene items, but we are in need of woolen socks, mittens, scarves, and mostly in men’s sizes,” said Chantal Stefan, founder of EDAS and a teacher in the Comox Valley.
“We also prepare bags for women and children but we don’t need any kids’ stuff – we have enough of that. So large sizes for men, medium sizes for women.”
North Island College’s fourth-year nursing students have got on board with a fundraiser through the Return-It Depots.
“At the Courtenay and Comox Return-It, people can bring in their cans or bottles and ask for EDAS and all that money will go towards this project.”
Donations of cash or cheques made out to EDAS will also be welcome so that organizers can buy items for the bags.
Donation drop boxes can be found at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary School, Zocalo Café and Gallery in Courtenay, RE/MAX Courtenay, Comox Community Centre, Seeds Food Market Cumberland and First Credit Union Cumberland. Questions may be directed to Chantal Stefan at: 250-792-0804 and Puntledge Principal Kevin Reimer at Kevin.Reimer@sd71.bc.ca.
Stefan said that involvement in the project increases every year, and this year, there are more schools getting involved.
“This year we are working with Queneesh, Brooklyn, Vanier, and Huband as well,” she said. “They are all getting involved with painting bags and collecting donations, so more and more, this really is a community project.”