HOPE Outreach spreads early holiday cheer

The group’s Christmas in November pizza night helped women celebrate

Monday night’s pizza night was special: it was HOPE Outreach’s Christmas in November night.

It’s a chance for the group to give and do a bit more than they usually do.

“Essentially, it’s our opportunity to spoil the girls with more things than we can throughout the year… there’s fun and games, sometimes we get to bring in beauticians, which is really exciting,” HOPE Outreach executive director Kathleen MacKinnon said.

“They get to get some fancy shoes, maybe stock up on clothes.”

She said because they only have two volunteers going out every night, they can’t always carry all the clothes, toiletries or personal hygiene products that many women need.

Monday night’s gift bags were wrapped in festive paper. There was also a pile of jackets, sweaters, and other warm items for the colder season.

MacKinnon pizza nights typically have food and games but for special editions like Christmas in November, they try to bring in beauticians to make the women feel special.

She said it’s about providing the homeless or those who may be fleeing from domestic violence with a light-hearted safe space.

She added that what she wants to see is more people helping others.

“I think the misconception is thinking (those who suffer) are not our people. But really, everyone is our people. There’s lots going on: this isn’t a one-person solve issue. I think everyone should take the time to educate themselves on ways in which we can show compassionate love and kindness to folks.”

“I just want to drive home that everyone in our community is part of our community and that should be elevated to the max.”

READ MORE: Kelowna homeless to demand improvements to their living conditions

READ MORE: Elizabeth Fry Society launches #SPEAKOUT campaign in Kelowna


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