One local woman is getting into the holiday spirit and giving back to those who are less fortunate.
For the last three years Charity Anderson has been donating care packages which she has dubbed ‘Clean and Cozy Kits’ to those in need.
“When my daughter was born, I was a single mom and I couldn’t work because she was born very premature. It came close to me losing my home and not having any food,” she said. “I had a successful career before and not having money was never an issue for me, but it was scary because I didn’t know what to do. I really realized what it was like to almost lose everything and when I got back on my feet I knew there were people out there who needed help. Now that I’m in the place that I can do that – why not?”
Anderson has divided the kits into three categories: men’s, women’s and children.
In the men’s kits, socks, mitts/gloves, scarves/neck warmers, toques, deodorant, soap, travel shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes are needed. For the women’s kits, socks, mitts/gloves, scarves/neck warmers, toques, deodorant, soap, travel shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes as well as feminine hygiene products and Chapstick are needed. And for the children’s kits, socks, mitts/gloves, scarves/neck warmers, toques are needed.
Each adult kit costs $15 to make up and the children’s kits cost about $6.
Anderson is also looking for donations of diapers, baby food and formula to give to the organizations.
“We are not looking for people to donate entire kits. One item or a few items would be greatly appreciated,” said Anderson. “We do also take cash donations but because I am not a ‘charity’ I can’t give receipts, so we would prefer donations of the items needed.”
In the past, Anderson has donated these items to those in need on her own. This year her employer, Shaw TV Central Alberta, is backing her up.
“The biggest thing that kicked it off was my supervisor Jamie Levis was shaving his head and we raised $1,500. The management at Shaw decided to match that and so far we’ve raised $3,000 to put towards items for the kits.
“We also had a local dentist donate 300 toothbrushes already as well.”
But Anderson’s vision doesn’t stop there. She is hoping to donate at least 500 kits to divide between six organizations including Safe Harbour, Women’s Outreach, the Schizophrenia Society of Alberta, Central Alberta Aids Network Society, the Red Deer Housing Team and the Native Friendship Centre.
“It feels so great to be able to give back,” said Anderson. “There are people that are forgotten. There were a couple of men behind my work recently and they needed some of these items. I had three kits made in my office and I brought two kits out and they went through it, looking at each of the items and you could tell they couldn’t believe I was giving it to them. The one man said ‘God bless your heart’. I thought that is exactly the reason I do this.”
Items can be dropped off at Shaw TV (4761 62 St.) until Dec. 15. For more information contact Charity at 403-352-5607.