The organizer of the annual Reason for the Season clothing drive for Langley’s homeless residents has decided to have two charitable agencies handle distribution rather than take on the task herself this year.
Cierra Foster said the donations collected on Saturday, Dec. 22 are going tothe Ishtar Women’s Resource Society and the Langley Vineyard church.
As a university student studying in Victoria, Foster said she only had a limited time to arrange the event this year.
“I still wanted to do something to give back this year but organizing a big distribution, I just did not have enough time,” Foster said.
As well, finding enough people to help with the distribution was a struggle last year, further complicated by the fact that the homeless population is more spread out in Langley, Foster said.
In addition to offering free meals, the Vineyard church has a store where the homeless or people who are in need can pick up a few items for free, Foster noted.
“I feel that what I have gathered would be best distributed there,” she said.
“I am very thankful for how many donations I received from our community and I am happy to contribute to the other organizations around Langley as I know every item will be going to people who are in need” Foster added.
Donations were down slightly for this year’s Reason for the Season clothing drive for Langley’s homeless residents, but people still dropped off enough to fill the back of a small pickup truck.
This year, she emphasized the need for feminine hygiene products and clean socks, and said donors responded accordingly.
Four years ago, Foster said she felt she wanted to do something for the community, so she started the donation drive, and it’s become a holiday tradition for Foster and her friends and family.
Foster now studies social work at the University of Victoria, and said she’s always had a passion for helping people on a social level.
“It’s something I’ve always cared deeply about.”
Foster’s father is a homeless resident of the Fraser Valley, so she said homelessness is not something she can ignore.
“Growing up my dad has always been homeless. When I’m walking on the streets and I see someone homeless, I can’t just see past them. [When] every Christmas, and every year gets cold, that comes to mind.”
In the past while delivering donations to homeless communities, Foster has run into her dad, and added that he is “proud” and “happy” that she does the drive.
“It’s a moment for us to see him and spend time with him,” she added.