Insulated work boots — size 12. Winter jacket — large. Wal-Mart gift card. Transit tickets. Gift card for Co-Op. Gift card for my son. A new wheelchair.
Welcome to the Christmas wish gift list of Calgary’s homeless.
Their requests are achingly sensible.
This year, there’s a special appeal to help them out. You’ll read short stories of Calgarians and their wishlists at www.homelesspartners.com.
The Homeless Partners Christmas Wish List initiative is four years old in Calgary. This year a team of volunteers, led by Brandi Mooney, interviewed some 600 Calgarians about their stories and their wish list. Some 300 stories are on the website, with another 300 being added. Here is a sample:
Loden is originally from the Sudan and came to Canada two years ago looking for a better life. He finds the overcrowding at the shelter to be stressful at times. He likes sports, especially soccer and badminton and likes the cheery holiday season.
Gift wanted: Transit tickets, badminton racquet and birdie.
Anna-Marie was born and raised in Calgary. After her fiancé lost his job they could no longer afford their home or to take care of their young son.
Gift wanted: Toy for her 11-month-old son.
Emmanuel was born and raised in Calgary. He finds not being able to afford rent prices in Calgary stressful and has been at the shelter for almost four months while he looks for decent affordable housing. Emmanuel likes to draw, listen to music and he loves Oreo cookies and football — his favourite team is the St. Louis Rams even though they aren’t doing well!
Gift wanted: White baseball cap with Superman logo on the front.
Perry moved from New Brunswick looking for work in construction. He is working part time for a temp agency but finances are a struggle with Calgary’s high rent and cost of living. He enjoys outdoor sports and the snow, and Christmas songs put him in the holiday mood.
Gift wanted: CSA approved, non-steel toe work boots, size 11.
Intrigued? Go online to read more, and register to give a gift. Drop it off at the Drop-In Centre’s loading dock, or park in the cul de sac where you can park quickly and run your gift in.
To Homeless Partner’s credit, the site offers a candid window into feelings about life at the Drop-In Centre. The short profiles are worth the read. Gifts will be handed out Christmas morning.