Callie’s Backpacks need donations for December goal
Collecting 500 gifts in two months sounds like a task for Santa Claus.
To 12-year-old Callie Costello, it sounds like a challenge.
Costello is behind Callie’s Backpacks for Winnipeg’s Homeless, which she started in 2013. The idea came to her after watching a documentary about a boy her age giving care packages to homeless people. Having been aware of Winnipeg’s homeless since she was five years old, the film inspired her to help.
Using her allowance to buy items at thrift and dollar stores, Costello started the project. Her mom, Crystal Costello, made a Facebook page to get donations.
“It wasn’t going to be this big thing that has happened,” Crystal said.
After picking up donations, organizing items, and filling backpacks, Costello hands the bags out.
“It’s awesome to see the look on people’s faces when they look at what’s in them,” Costello said. “Smiles. A lot of smiles.”
Costello plans to fill over 500 care packages by December to donate over the Christmas season.
Pulling together this amount of backpacks is not an easy feat and Costello hopes RRC students can help out.
Crystal said she wants to get the word out to students in hopes they may have gently-used backpacks to donate. She would also like to set up drop-off bins at the college to help reach her goal of 500 bags.
The RRC Students’ Association (RRCSA) has done similar fundraisers like a clothing drive where students dropped off items they no longer needed.
Because of the success the RRCSA had with the clothing drive, RRCSA president Benjamin McDonald said he thinks a drop-off bin for Callie’s Backpacks could be successful.
“It’s not out of our way, so why not?” he said.
In the meantime, students can donate gently used backpacks or toiletries at one of the drop-off bins throughout the city.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery are Callie’s Backpacks most popular drop-off locations. There are bins set up at every Perkins in Winnipeg and some of the restaurants give a 15 per cent discount to donors.
Students at the Notre Dame Campus can bring donations to 413 Marjorie Street.
A full list of drop off locations is available on Callie’s Backpacks for Winnipeg’s Homeless Facebook page.
Edited for accuracy Nov. 2 at 2:51pm.