Operation Bags of Hope for Christmas

December 6th, 2014 I had a vision of putting something together to provide hope & love for those need it most at Christmas. I created a list, created this group, set a goal of 25 and within 10 days we had met the goal. The bags were delivered to the temporary overnight shelter in Coquitlam.

In 2015 I added a couple of things to the list and we did 50 bags. 30 of them when to the Bridge Shelter and 20 were taken to Coquitlam’s Gordon avenue shelter on Christmas Eve which had just opened its doors. It was there I met the faces of 3 people who I spoke with & it confirmed within that I would be continuing this group for yet another year.

In 2016 we filled 100 bags and they were all delivered to the Gordon avenue shelter on Christmas Eve.

2017 we filled 100 bags as well with 17 items in each. We served hot chocolate and Tim Bits which proved to be a big hit!

In 2018 we filled 117 bags with 19 items in each, we added ponchos and blankets to our list. The bags were delivered to the Gordon avenue shelter on Christmas Eve with about 45 of those bags being taken out to Maple Ridge by outreach to those in tent city.

In 2019 we had our biggest year so far. We filled 157 bags with 19 items in each also including a handmade card for the recipients. We had 14 people bake Christmas treats which we brought both on Christmas eve to the delivery but also the week before to our first haircutting evening. With the publicity on Global BC, the local paper and a short clip on CKNW 980 our contact base has grown beyond the Tri Cities and this year we hit south of the Fraser for the first time. The feedback from many is that our bags need to reach the most destitute areas in the Lower Mainland where hope is needed and I couldn’t agree more.

We hit the Whalley strip on December 21 with 45 bags, the Coquitlam shelter on December 24 with 70 bags, the temporary overnight shelter on December 24 with 20 bags and the remaining bags were taken to the Maple Ridge shelter on December 26.

This group that started out in my living room back in 2014 is growing beyond what I ever really could foresee. This group is one that will continue each year and with the continued support and sharing, will continue to grow.

Our 2020 goal was for 200 bags- and then Covid hit. I tried to come up with a way to make this happen so here we are starting in July.. Every bit counts.  If you donate, your money will go towards bag items- each bag value is approximately $45 so even a $10 donation helps.



Here is a little bit about my own journey and how I came to be:
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/features/misdiagnosed-and-over-medicated-b-c-woman-calls-for-change-in-mental-health-care-1.3681730

Donations

  • Katrina Bennett 
    • $50 
    • 25 d
  • Karen Stainton  
    • $50 
    • 25 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 1 mo
  • Lisa Aho 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous 
    • $45 
    • 2 mos

Organizer

Jessa Turner 
Organizer
Coquitlam, BC
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