The 1st Coyote Hills Girl Guides in Penticton prepared over 40 “kindness kits” through the national “Action on Poverty” program to be handed out to local homeless individuals. Submitted photo

Penticton Girl Guides pack supplies for homeless

Girls with the 1st Coyote Hills group put together 43 kits, including hygiene products and socks

Bandages, cookies and hygiene products are among the things some local homeless individuals are finding in “kindness kits,” thanks to the 1st Coyote Hills Girl Guides in Penticton.

As part of the national Girl Guides’ Action on Poverty Challenge, the local group put together 43 kits — among the 9,000 kits put together across Canada since September 2017.

“We were learning stuff about poverty, and we made this little poster, and we found stuff about homelessness and poverty and stuff like that,” said 10-year-old Ryleigh Hildebrand with the 1st Coyote Hills.

Hildebrand said one of the things she learned about homelessness is that there is “a lot of it.” Indeed, Penticton’s homeless count last year has indicated at least 70 homeless individuals, but non-profit workers in homeless outreach programs feel the number of homeless has actually gone up from the year previous — counted at nearly 130 — rather than down.

Related: Shelter beds more than double in Penticton, but more people in need

Hildebrand said it felt good to be a part of the program to help homeless individuals get some of the supplies they need.

“Because I’m helping people and it feels good,” she said. “(I hope) that they’ll feel better, and they’ll feel that someone cares for them.”

Hildebrand said the group put in things like floss, toothpaste, deodorant, hair brushes and more, also hand decorating a total of 300 cookies for the kits. The girls were asked to consider things that would fit in a shoebox that they felt a person without a regular home would need.

“They wanted to know if they can bring in a backpack for them to carry the things in, and we thought that was a wonderful idea, but just cost-wise it’s a little prohibitive,” said the group’s leader Linda Sankey — also the executive director with the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society, which is handing out the kits through its Homeless Outreach program.

“We talked about non-perishable goods and what that means and talked also about how you have to carry what you can and can’t carry food for your next meal. So including things that could be carried for a later time like granola bars. So that was quite insightful.”

Sankey said she thinks the program will be effective. The packs intended to be going out starting last Friday.

“I think this will be an interesting thing to see, because the cookies that they made, some of the icing has words of encouragement written with the icing … I think they’re always grateful for the kits,” she said.

“And some of them have children of their own and have lost touch with kids, so it just helps to bring that humanization back to the issue of homelessness and show that people of all walks of life are thinking about them as people and not just as a problem in our societies.”

Sankey said SOSBIS is “happy” to pass along things like clothing or other items people don’t need or want anymore, as well as non-perishables and unopened hygiene products.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fundraiser established for the family of Penticton crash victim

A GoFundMe account has been established for the driver who died in Carmi Avenue accident

Friendly falcon now in residence at Okanagan raptor rehab centre

A rare prairie falcon caught in Trail will spend the winter at the SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre

South Okanagan Métis step up involvement with school district

The association wants to have more of a role in the inclusion of Métis culture, history in schools

Christmas cheer coming to downtown Penticton

Downtown Penticton Association are getting into the Christmas spirit

Council concerned about blocking cannabis retail from Main Street

Cannabis policy expected to be ready for Penticton city council on Dec. 4

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Lower Mainland suspect identified in fatal northern B.C. hit and run

Suspect and seven other individuals believed involved located on Haida Gwaii

‘Bait and switch’ warning ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Competition Bureau of Canada is warning shoppers of illegal sale tactics

Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Public removal ‘very unfair,’ says veteran clerk Craig James

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

Most Read