Last year

Six-year-old continues sleeping bag collection in Calgary

A Fairfield boy, who collected sleeping bags for the city's homeless last holiday season, is continuing the tradition in Alberta this year.

A Fairfield boy, who collected sleeping bags for the city’s homeless last holiday season, is continuing the tradition in Alberta this year.

Six-year-old Tate Parker, a former Victoria resident and student at St. Michaels University School, is paying it forward and will be collecting sleeping bags for Calgary’s homeless this Christmas.

It’s a tradition that started in Victoria in November 2015, when Tate decided he wanted to help the homeless people he often saw sleeping in Beacon Hill Park or at the infamous tent city on the lawns of the Victoria courthouse.

His original goal was to collect 51 gently-used sleeping bags (the amount of money he had in his piggy bank at the time) and distribute them on Christmas Eve. The campaign quickly exploded and in the end, Tate collected more than 120 sleeping bags and blankets, along with a number of gift cards.

Following the distribution, residents of tent city also presented Tate with a piggy bank, refunding him the money he spent on the bags.

After the family of four moved to Calgary in August, Tate wanted to help again — this time in a different city.

“When Christmas came around again this year, we talked about last Christmas and Tate basically asked, ‘are there homeless people here too’?” said his father Neil. “Here we are again and the living room is full of sleeping bags.”

This year, his goal is even more ambitious. He hopes to collect 130 sleeping bags and has already collected 71.

For more information visit the Facebook page Sleeping Bag Tate.