Many in the community struggle but there are people in Prince George that want to step up and help, multiple times.
Alyse Willmann started Christmas on the Streets three years ago, wanting to ensure those living on the street were also shown love and also received gifts and items they may need.
"So Christmas Day, we would go out with coffee and hot chocolate and stockings," she says. "Started as just a few friends with a few items that grew into real stockings with items. We did 50 two years ago and last year 75 stockings."
With the results of the initiative, she thought about school children who may be in need of supplies or even show up to school without food.
"I started to think about what happens to kids when they go back to school and my mind thought of those students who aren’t able to be equipped with what they need," Willmann adds. "Do they show up without school supplies? Or lunch?"
She has decided to pick one Prince George inner-city school (for security reasons, has asked the school not to be named) to see what grades are in need of supplies. She wants to raise, donate and make “back to school backpacks" with a snack in it and a little encouragement.
"I really wanted to focus on the children because I feel they are the future and can make a change," she says. "I started researching, reaching out to two of my friends Nolan and Emily Hanson. Shared the idea they loved it and helped make it a reality!"
“All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and somebody who believes in them," she says. "The kids of today may well be the heroes of tomorrow, so would you take part in this movement and 'Help a Hero?'”
Willmann says you can donate a backpack that includes everything on the list. There are two challenges: the backpack with the supplies or the lunchbox with the supplies on that list. If they do not have time to go out and buy the items, you can transfer it via email. You can also let them know if you want to do the backpack or lunchbox along with if they want to leave a little note of encouragement.
Each backpack (Grade 1-3) should contain:
- Six duotangs (no plastic) Solid Colours, one of each: Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red and Orange
- Three Exercise Books (1/2 lined, 1/2 blank)
- One Blank Exercise Book
- One interlined exercise book
- One hard shell pencil box
- 15 quality HB pencils with erasers
- Wax crayons (Crayola -24 pack)
- One package of pencil crayons
- One package of water-based felt markers
- Five large glue sticks (white)
- One pair of Scissors
- Three white erasers
- 30cm ruler – clear, plastic, non-bendable (Grade 3 only)
- One package of Lined looseleaf paper (Grade 3 only)
- One package of Expo dry erase pens (Grade 3 only)
"We also felt it was necessary to include kindergarteners in this challenge even though they do not have a list of supplies," the Facebook page says.
As for the second challenge, you can buy a lunch kit and fill it with a juice box, peanut-free granola bar and a pack of fruit gummy snacks.
They are also asking you to purchase a coloring book and a pack of crayons to go with your lunch kit.
Backpacks must be returned to Alyse, Nolan or Emily by Aug. 29. You can contact them via email at firstname.lastname@example.org