17-year old’s passion for community service receives support from dozens

Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)
Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)
Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)
Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)
Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)
Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter organized blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 15. (Tanmay Ahluwalia/Langley Advance Times)
Soleina Hunter organized a blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 17. (Special to Langley Advance Times) Soleina Hunter organized a blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 17. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Soleina Hunter organized a blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 17. (Special to Langley Advance Times) Soleina Hunter organized a blanket and warm clothing donation drive at Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 17. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

A blanket and warm clothing donation drive drew hundreds of community members to Aldergrove Plaza on Saturday, Oct. 17. People brought big plastic bags filled with blankets and clothes.

Behind the heap of bags stood Aldergrove’s 17-year-old Soleina Hunter – the brain behind the project. In just one day, Hunter was able to fill 450 cubic feet of space in her dad’s trailer with blankets and pillows.

Her drive to single-handedly launch this project was sparked by a small thought and some help from family.

She had been looking for ways to get involved with the community for a long time but was unsure about what ideas to pursue.

Some discussions with her parents led the young girl to reach out to Langley’s Gateway of Hope, where she learnt about the non-profit’s work to help those living without shelter.

The non-profit further told Hunter that there is a high need for blankets and warm clothing as many come to the local facility during winter to seek shelter. Many-a-times, these people have to be turned away due to limited space and are given blankets or warm clothing to help them survive.

“Provoked” and inspired by the conversation with the Gateway of Hope, Hunter decided to share the idea of organizing a blanket and warm clothing drive with her parents.

“They were ecstatic,” she commented.

Soleina’s parents, Deanna and Anthony Hunter rented out Aldergrove Plaza and even brought their cargo trailer to the location with the hope of filling it with donations.

“We are very proud of her. She put this together in a short period of time and this was something she wanted to do for a long time,” said Anthony.

With a trailer, speakers, Soleina’s playlist, a table, some balloons and signs, the young girl was ready to welcome people.

She started at 10 a.m., and within a couple of hours, the family had collected about 30 bags of blankets and clothing in addition to cash donations. While only $10 came in as cash donations, Soleina was happy to be able to collect tens of bags filled with clothing and blankets.

“It was good and cool to see how much can be done with just small steps,” she concluded.

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RELATED: Langley clothing drive came just ahead of cold snap

READ MORE: Aldergrove man hopes to expand his non profit

AldergroveCharity and DonationsDonationHomelesshomeless housingHomelessnessWinter

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