Last November we provided an update on our $10,000 Local Give initiative and promised that we would share some of the heart-warming stories we received from those who participated. Pamela Nelson was one of those participants; her story is inspiring and is a wonderful example of the difference that a group of people can make when they work together. Read on to see what Pamela did with her $100.
Unless you’ve walked in the shoes of someone living their life on the streets, it can be difficult to truly know the hardships that are faced; the moments of fear and even desperation that may shape day to day life. For one local woman, the spotlight on the lack of shelter options for women living on the streets prior to the holiday season was enough to spark an idea that grew and gained momentum.
“It started with the $100 from the Interior Savings Local Give initiative”, shares Pamela. “What to do with the money? How shall I pay it forward to the community? Initially, the idea was to provide socks for community members who were in need. And then Global Okanagan news shared a story featuring a homeless woman in Penticton advocating for more emergency shelter beds. It sparked an idea. What if I could turn the $100 into 100 care packages for homeless women? I put out the call to the strong, action-oriented, get’er done women in my life, and asked them to also spread the word.”
Moved by her passion and enthusiasm, Pamela’s network of friends, colleagues and family were more than happy to help. Email after email, call after call, the donations rolled in over a period of two weeks. There were handmade toques and scarves, gloves, socks and numerous personal care products to name just a few of the items donated. Boxes upon boxes were overflowing and then on December 1st, Pamela and her support crew of Laura Gibbs, Linda Edgecombe and Carol Heath met to organize all of the care packages.
To their amazement, they had collected enough items to create 143 care packages! In addition, they had collected two large boxes of clothing that would also be distributed to women navigating homelessness across the Okanagan. And if that wasn’t enough, the original $100 that sparked the idea was donated to HOPE Outreach.
Wow! Such an incredible show of community spirit! A big thank you to Pamela for rallying her troops and embracing our $10,000 Local Give. To the many people and businesses who helped support Pamela’s campaign, thank you! More proof that when a community works together, great things happen!