A Reading Initiative that Spreads Cheer and Hope one Backpack at a Time

As the holiday season approaches, we are reminded of the warmth and togetherness that characterize this special time of year. However, for many youth at risk of or experiencing homelessness, the holidays can be a challenging and isolating period. In the spirit of giving, Covenant House Vancouver, and our community of donors and volunteers, are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these young individuals through initiatives like the holiday backpack campaign.

Olivia’s Inspiring Initiative

In the heart of this season, there shines a story of compassion and initiative—Olivia’s Read-a-thon. What began as a young girl’s concern for the homeless individuals she passed on her way to school has transformed into a powerful movement. Now in its third year, Olivia’s dedication to making a positive impact led her to create her annual Read-a-thon, which has raised over $10,000 for Covenant House and the local food bank. Olivia chose to partner with us because our Backpack Campaign aligned with her initial vision of providing warm clothes and necessities to those in need, to foster comfort and dignity for individuals facing adversity.

“By doing the Read-a-thon, I’ve learned that I can help others and make myself feel great too! I hope to continue doing it for as long as I can. I want to make this idea something that many people could be involved in,” reflects Olivia. Her words echo the sentiment that small, compassionate actions can lead to profound and lasting change.

Holiday Backpack Campaign

This holiday season, we invite you to join Olivia and countless others in making a difference through the Holiday Backpack Campaign. By filling a backpack with kindness, you can provide hope and support to young individuals age 16–24 who are seeking comfort during this special time of year. Donations and gifts-in-kind will be accepted until December 15th.

What Goes in the Backpack?

The holiday backpacks aim to provide a range of gender-neutral items, including:

  • Socks
  • Boxer brief underwear (all sizes)
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes (travel size preferred)
  • Deodorant
  • Hairbrushes
  • Shaving cream
  • T-shirts and hoodies
  • Gift cards ($5, $10, $20)

How You Can Make a Difference

Together, through initiatives like the Holiday Backpack Campaign, we can make the holiday season brighter for homeless youth, to remind them that they are not alone and that there are people who genuinely care about their happiness and well-being.

There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Donate: Your financial contributions play a pivotal role in purchasing items for the backpacks and organizing the holiday party.
  • Collect Items: Host a donation drive to gather warm clothing, toiletries, and other essentials.
  • Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your network—friends, family, and colleagues. The more people who know, the more support can be gathered.

For more information or to contribute, please contact:
Cory Kaban Philanthropy Officer,
Gifts-in-Kind Email: ckaban@covenanthousebc.org
Phone: 604-757-6064