Anderson partnered with H.O.P.E. volunteers to help distribute the wagons. (Photo contributed)

Fundraiser succeeds in bringing wagons to Vernon’s homeless

‘I basically just started the gofundme off of a whim and thought, well let’s just see what happens.’

Sarah Anderson decided she had to take action when she heard that her hometown was considering banning shopping carts. Knowing how large the homeless population in Vernon is, she came up with a solution: wagons.

So, she started a gofundme page, unsure if it would catch any attention or raise any money.

“I basically just started the gofundme page off of a whim and thought, well let’s just see what happens,” she said. “I had never set up a page before had never done my own sort of fundraising but we ended up getting about $2,000.”

Related: UBCO personal belongings cart hits the streets

Related: Shopping cart plan in works

Not wanting to go in blind, she put a post in the Vernon community forum, looking for people with a connection with the homeless community. She was able to connect with two volunteers from H.O.P.E.: Charmaine Comeau and Suzanne North. Helping Out People Exploited outreach is a nighttime outreach program, dedicated to serving women, living on the streets who are homeless, addicted or exploited.

Anderson, who is now living in Calgary, said she often visits Vernon and follows local news. So, the first week in August, she planned a visit to Vernon. She purchased wagons and were quickly able to find four individuals who benefited from receiving a wagon.

“The first weekend in August we handed out four and then I left two other wagons with the ladies from H.O.P.E. because they go out every second Saturday. They were then able to hand out two more,” Anderson said. “Then we came out for the September long weekend and made a plan with the two ladies to hand out the rest of them. In total, we were able to handout 18 wagons.”

Coincidentally, after the labour day weekend when the team finished handing out the final wagons, the Vernon Council voted down shopping cart ban, enabling Vernon’s street-entrenched population to keep their shopping carts.

“Administration does not support banning of shopping carts based on the legal challenges and potential infringement on person’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” wrote city administration in a report to council. “Additionally, persons requiring storage and transportation of their belongings will seek other means such as wagons, strollers, carts or roller bags.”

Anderson’s initiative was ahead of this curve, but she said she’s just happy that she was successful in her fundraising efforts and able to ensure that 18 people who would benefit from a cart and likely couldn’t afford one, now have wagons to keep their belongings.

Related: Vernon Council votes down shopping cart ban

Related: Vernon task force recommendations stir debate

Related: Letter: Shopping carts a distraction

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on

 

Sarah Anderson began the fundraising initiative when she heard that Vernon’s city council was considering banning shopping carts. (Photo contributed)

In total, Anderson and her team distributed 18 wagons. (Photo contributed)

Just Posted

City budget 2019: Kelowna council settles on 4.43% tax hike

Proposed tax hike includes controversial 1.95 per cent levy to address infrastructure “deficit”

Scholarship smooths road ahead for Okanagan College transfer student

27 students from Okanagan College received awards from the Irving K. Barber Society

Crash stalls traffic on Benvoulin, vehicle flipped on its side

Early reports from the scene note traffic is backed up in both directions along Benvoulin near Byrns Road.

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Okanagan lawyer honoured by appointment to Queen’s Counsel

Only seven per cent of practising B.C. lawyers are appointed

Missing man last seen in Shuswap

Red Deer RCMP would like public’s help locating elderly man with dementia last observed in Sicamous

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

No plans yet for free WiFi on BC Transit buses

BC Transit says they are monitoring the roll-out of free WiFi on Translink vehicles

Some Kotex tampons recalled in Canada and U.S.

In some cases, tampon users sought medical attention “to remove tampon pieces left in the body.”

Sex-assault squad investigated eight incidents at Toronto all-boys’ school

The interim president of a Roman Catholic all-boys school rocked by student-on-student abuse allegations said the football program was cancelled for next year.

Most Read