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

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Saanich for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read