Senior minister for the Shelboure Street Church of Christ Travis Hutchinson hopes their partnership with Homeless Partners spurs Victorian's to help the less fortunate with a Christmas gift.

Church teams up with Cool Aid to find gifts for homeless

The Shelbourne Street Church of Christ hopes to give the gift of giving.

The Shelbourne Street Church of Christ hopes to give the gift of giving.

The Saanich church is helping the homeless and less fortunate tell their personal stories and receive gifts on Christmas by joining forces with the Homeless Partners Christmas Wish List Program.

“It puts a face on each person, it tells a story for each person,” said Minister Travis Hutchinson. “It lets them be recognized as people more than just a problem to be solved they are a person to be loved. That is the root of what Homeless Partners is about, that is why I think it is so important.”

Recipients for the gifts are found through the Cool Aid’s Sandy Merriman House, Next Steps Transitional Shelter and Rock Bay Landing, where each person is interviewed to give them an opportunity to tell their story – if they so choose – and offer a short list of items they would like for themselves or loved ones.

Gifts range from equipment to help them get them started on getting a job, clothing to keep them warm over the winter to gifts for their children. Gift requests and stories are posted at homelesspartners.com. This is the fourth year the Shelbourne Street church has partnered with the non-profit Homeless Partners.

“A lot of time in fixing the problem, we tend to lose sight of the person. It is about the person not the issue of poverty,” continued Hutchinson, who recently relocated from Colorado. “People are complex and valuable, and sometimes, especially when people are homeless, we lose sight of that.”

In 2011, the church interviewed 117 people and 115 received one or more of the gifts on their list. This year they expect a similar number of potential recipients, but this time they hope every single one will have at least one wish fulfilled before the Dec. 22 deadline.

A support worker at Rock Bay Landing and Street Link for more than nine years, Cindy Cox has seen the benefits of the program first hand, and said it makes a difference in peoples’ lives.

“I see it as a huge benefit. The folks are appreciative and they are excited,” she said. “For some of the people it could be the only gift they receive the whole Christmas season. It is heartwarming to know people are thinking about them.”

Cox said many of the gifts aren’t even for the homeless person themselves, and are passed on to their friends, partners and children.

“I was quite moved by it all, it is nice to see the love and empathy,” she said. “It is great (donors) care enough to take time out of their busy Christmas to think of folks that are less fortunate. It is touching and nice to see.”

Gifts or donations are accepted at the Shelbourne Street Church of Christ on 3460 Shelbourne St. or at Rock Bay Landing at 535 Ellice St. through Dec. 22. Gifts are distributed to the appropriate recipients Christmas eve or Christmas day.

For more information visit homelesspartners.com. Click on “Read a story and give a gift” and select Victoria.

reporter@vicnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria shoppers fund Jubilee hospital cardiac monitoring

More than $40k raised over the holidays at Canadian Tire locations

Malahat snow-covered as flakes fall across Greater Victoria

Snowfall warning in effect for parts of Vancouver Island

BC Housing remains open to modular housing in Saanich, but acknowledges slow regional up take

Only one project with 21 units underway in the Greater Victoria

West Shore lands Pan Am Cross Country Cup

Event coming to Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort Spa in February 2020

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Cryptocurrency exchange CEO who suddenly died leaves Kelowna house in will

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Most Read