A local family have given up their own Christmas gifts to deliver hope to the homeless, one bag at a time.
“This is what Christmas is all about,” mom Francine Michaud said yesterday.
Three years since Francine’s son Jesse Michaud, 15, began a charity crusade dubbed Hope in a Bag, he said he’s learned goodwill doesn’t come with an age restriction.
“I don’t think age matters when it comes to generosity,” he said.
The family have devoted their holiday season to collecting close to 250 backpacks and have filled them with goods intended to ease the hard-knock-life experienced on Edmonton’s frozen streets.
The Michauds are asking for backpacks, clothing, toiletries and non-perishable food items before the bags are delivered to the Jasper Place Health and Wellness Centre and St. Vincent de Paul Church Wednesday.
Various groups have appealed to the public for goods for the homeless in recent weeks.
Last week, local shelters reported supplies of socks, mittens and blankets had all but run out.
On Friday, the Alberta Building Trades Council purchased and donated over 1,000 pairs of wool socks to the Hope Mission and George Spady Centre.
Yesterday, city firefighters delivered “winter survival packs” to hundreds of the city’s homeless.
Despite the widespread public appeal from needy groups, Jesse said donations have still been filling his bags.
“People are still being so generous,” he said. “There’s no competition between charities, because it’s all going to help the same people. It’s inspiring to see how much people care.”
Donations for Hope in a Bag can be dropped off at 9834 – 152 St.