The Lloydminster Men’s Shelter will get a lot of mileage from an unexpected donation of 70 backpacks filled with essential items.
The Realtors Association of Lloydminster and District delivered the goodie bags purchased by its own members last Thursday to the delight of staff and available residents.
“The back packs benefit our men in so many ways and also our street people,” said Laura Berube, executive director of the shelter.
“Their backpacks are their life, they come in with really nothing so this really helps them.”
Each pack was filled with wearables such as socks, gloves and T-shirts and toiletries including razors, shampoo and Kleenex.
“It will give them all the toiletries that they’re going to require whether they go back on the street or stay here for a while, so it’s huge,” said Berube.
“It’s amazing and coming so soon after Christmas, this is just really a godsend.”
She said the donation saves them from having to purchase supplies when they run low.
Realtors association president Michael Dewing said their board members decided to give back to the community where they saw the need.
“We bought 70 back packs full of belongings that the members of the shelter could use upon their exit,” said Dewing.
“So there is everything in there from soap and toothpaste right down to a pair of work gloves and a couple of pairs of nice dry socks.”
Some of the packs also contained a map of the city, face cloths and various miscellaneous items.
“The donations are great,” said Ryan Bullis, a former resident who helps the shelter run their life skills program. “A lot of these guys need it.”
There were 19 men in the shelter that morning, but up to 28 could have turned up for supper. Bullis’ task was to place one pack on every bed for the residents to open upon their return. With his red toque on for the job, Bullis had the Santa look.
“It just fits the purpose – it suits the shoe,” he joked.
Shelter resident Logan Huard was especially appreciative of the contents as he’s been out of work for months.
“At this point in time, I don’t have the money for that,” he said. “I’m pretty sure a lot of guys will get a good use out of them.”
Dewing said the bags were sourced and purchased by the Realtors association with donations coming from their 100 members including those in Vermilion and Wainwright.
Some of the items were also donated to the men’s shelter in Wainwright.
The association is planning a similar project in the fall with packs full of items for women and children at the Lloydminster Interval Home.