Dawna Engbrecht

Packing bags for homeless this holiday

A daunting 130 backpacks need to be filled so they can given to the homeless as part of the Christmas Backpack Project.

A daunting 130 backpacks need to be filled so Niki Ottosen and her aunt Dawna Engbrecht are collecting all they can to help the homeless with gifts in time for Christmas.

Ottosen, of Colwood, started the Christmas Backpack Project in 2008 with 20 packs. Every year the project has grown but the idea remains the same. She fills the bags with warm clothes, food, treats and personal hygiene products.

Once the packs are complete, Ottosen and Engbrecht will find West Shore groups including the Goldstream Food Bank to distribute the bags to the homeless population.

Spillover will be sent to agencies in Greater Victoria including Our Place and the Dandelion Society.

“These are members of our community just like you and me,” Ottosen said.

Engbrecht, helping out for the second year, stores backpacks and supplies in her Langford home.

“We spend a lot of time outdoors,” said Ottosen, who works as a gardener. “I know what it’s like to be cold and wet and tired. I don’t know what it’s like to not have anywhere to go to and bed down on top of that.”

This year her goal was to stuff 100 backpacks, but through donations and store discounts she was able to purchase 130 of the bags. Right now she has enough socks, toques, and other items to fill about half of them.

Items needed include gloves, scarves, rain ponchos underwear, granola bars and hot chocolate.

A collection box for the project is set up at the Colwood Thrifty Foods, 1860 Island Highway.

For more information email christmaspackpackproject@gmail.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dozen Metchosin ‘barn cats’ on the hunt for new homes

Broken Promises Animal Rescue hoping to re-home feral cats

Victoria votes to slash sister city celebrations

Victoria will only celebrate its anniversary with Morioka, Japan this year

Shortlisted options for Beacon Wharf replacement cost between $6.3 and $14.2 million

Select committee will investigate various questions around proposed replacement of iconic wharf

Colwood promises to fix potholes, road issues on Ocean Boulevard

City says winter conditions damaged roadway

Saanich swaps last propane-powered Zamboni for electric model

Pearkes arena’s all-electric ice resurfacing fleet to reduce carbon emissions by six tonnes

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Dashcam records driver’s near-miss near Sooke

Driver crossed four lanes of traffic and back over again, barely missing three other vehicles

Most Read