Kingston teens fill backpacks for those in need ahead of Christmas
KINGSTON -- Just a head of Christmas, two teenagers are trying to help those most in need, by handing out backpacks to those living on the streets of Kingston.
15-year-old Dylan van Dusen and 13-year-old Quiryanna Nuttall are working to fill as many backpacks as they can, through donations. The backpacks will then be handed out on Dec. 13.
"It's almost like the saying 'treat others as you’d like to be treated' and it’s an act of kindness and I think it’s really important for that," says van Dusen.
The bags are filled with the basics to keep warm during the city’s cold months, like gloves and shampoo. There are also COVID-wise supports, like face masks and hand sanitizer.
"What I like to think of, stuff that we use all the time, like, in our daily lives, like tooth brushes, tooth paste, and soap," says Nuttal. "Because we want to make sure these people to have enough of it to last."
Van Dusen agrees, and says it’s meant to be a little help before Christmas, and what can be a difficult time for some.
"Some homeless people do have families so they want to provide for them as well," he explains in an interview with CTV News Ottawa. "So we think it’s really important, so then they can keep warm and they can provide for their families."
This is the second year van Dusen has filled these backpacks. He says it all came together the first time on a snowy day in 2018.
"I was sitting at the office at school one day, and it kind of just sparked and it was a New Years resolution idea," he says. "I started just researching organizations and companies and we got together and got a bunch of bags together and called the community and just kept getting donations."
The pandemic hasn’t stopped the generosity.
So far, they have enough to fill 25 backpacks, and everything - from the bags to the gift cards - have been donated by local businesses and people in the community.
For anyone interested in making a donation, van Dusen says people can reach out to him on his Facebook page, and they’ll continue to collect until Dec. 2.