Organizers of the Backpacks of Love charity event are thrilled with the community support.
"The community of North Bay has, once again, stepped up to support those of its members in need," stated Rebecca Riesen, lead organizer of Backpacks of Love in a release.
"Continuing the Backpacks of Love with our second summer campaign in the month of June, the Compassionate Committee for the Homeless in North Bay put a call out to the community to give generously.".
The committee of volunteers packed 57 hygiene bags filled with donated toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, antiperspirant, lip balm, socks and more. In addition to the hygiene bags, bags of toilet paper, underwear, can openers, ponchos, reusable bags, and devotionals were donated to the North Bay Crisis Centre, the Indigenous Friendship Centre, the Gathering Place and the Aids Committee of North Bay; frontline organizations who provide much-needed assistance to the homeless in North Bay.“Once again, we had a great outpouring of generosity from the community,” stated Riesen.
“Organizations like The Gathering Place, the North Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre, The Aids Committee of North Bay, and the Crisis Centre were very excited and thankful to receive the donated packs and bags as they were preparing the homeless for the upcoming hot weather.”
Organizers also thank the North Bay churches and individuals who donated essential items and monies during our drop-off days.
The Compassionate Committee for the Homeless in North Bay was created in February 2021, and based on research conducted, the Backpacks of Love campaign was born.
“With 10 churches involved, and 20 volunteers through faith, service and social justice we are addressing the urgent needs of the homeless and are engaging with all levels of government to ensure that homelessness is front and centre in the political arena,” states Leah Pierce, chairperson.
What’s next for this faith-filled committee? We are pausing for the summer and then in September will meet to develop strategies to address the urgent needs of the homeless and to advocate for creative ways to develop much-needed shelter space and affordable housing.
The committee is made up of the faithful from churches primarily in North Bay’s downtown, who have joined together to address the immediate needs of the homeless. Its goal is to work with all levels of government, existing support services and organizations to find homes for the homeless who want them.