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

 

 

Just Posted

Goldstream Avenue development on schedule to open next winter

Pacifica development adds 150 units of affordable housing

SCREECH: Transportation service will give residents and businesses a say in improving the system

Transportation issues are top of mind across the Capital Regional District. If… Continue reading

Artists find showcase at Coast Collective gallery

Art from the Attic showcases forgotten treasures

Drop off your old branches in Colwood

Program helps keep city yards tidy

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

WHL winning streak ends at four in Kelowna for Victoria

Royals lose 8-4 as Rockets explode offensively

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Most Read