A community outreach group is seeking donations from Penticton businesses for an upcoming online, fundraising auction.
Mike Forster and Kristyn Trickey of Keep the Cold off Penticton normally hold an annual in-person fundraising event in the winter. Last year they raised $1,500 during their fundraiser at The Barley Mill Pub.
However, this year the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented them from holding a fundraising event in person. Instead of doing a live event, Forster and Trickey have decided to hold an online auction beginning approximately one week before Christmas.
They are currently looking for local business to donate items that will be auctioned off on their Facebook page.
They have already received donations of five gift certificates for facials valued at $90 each from Summerland’s Beauty and the Brit spa and a $75 gift certificate from The Suburban Princess boutique, also in Summerland.
They would like to find at least 10 other items from local businesses to auction off for a total of 12.
Forster and Trickey work multiple nights a week volunteering their time to help Penticton’s population of people experiencing homelessness. They give out food, clothing and other supplies to people living in the street. Most clothing items are donated but most of the food and other supplies are purchased by Tirckey and Forster themselves.
The group hopes to expand their services by adding being to be out providing support one more night a week. They currently go out about two or three nights a week.
The money raised in the online auction will go towards funding their outreach work.
“We want to do as much as we can and having a bit of extra funds would help us do that,” said Trickey.
Recently, Trickey and Forster have been spending time at the new Victory Church emergency shelter in addition to their regular street patrols. “Just because they’re there doesn’t mean they need any less,” Forster said. “We still help them the same way we do in the streets but we just do it there.”
The shelter opened in early November and quickly filled with approximately 40 people seeking beds, according to Forster.