PJs and storybooks for Kelowna kids

With helpers like Syd McGuigan, the Kelowna Salvation Army should have plenty to offer kids and their families this Christmas.

Syd McGuigan delivers PJs and Storybooks to Salvation Army Pastor Kim Burry in Kelowna.

This time last year Syd and Kate McGuigan were up to their ears in kids pyjamas and storybooks.

It was Kate’s idea — her passion — to collect these simple items and get them to kids who aren’t lucky enough to find them under the Christmas tree every year.

Kate had been volunteering in Kelowna schools and saw that some kids came to school, day after day, in the same threadbare cloths. She wanted to make a difference in their lives.

But Kate’s ALS made the task monumental for her. She carried on from her wheelchair, with the help of her soulmate and husband Syd, to making sure her dream came true.

Syd’s doing it alone this year. Kate died in September.

“I’m trying to carry this on,” he said last week as he brought packages of pyjamas and storybooks out of his stuffed van into the Kelowna Salvation Army.

Pastor Kim Burry helped stack the donations in the gym. They’ll be sorted onto six-foot high shelves grouped by age. “We have a food and toy program for our families,” she said. “The parents get to come in and choose toys for their kids.

“And they are blessed with these lovely pyjamas as well.”

Syd bought most of his supplies with his own money this year, emptying shelves of children’s pyjamas and storybooks at local stores. Last Friday he figured he had about 400 sets of PJs.

He still has a gap to fill of items for children aged 9 and 10.

Kate’s brother Grant Cox, at Embroider Me,1086 Gordon Dr. in Kelowna, is accepting donations on Syd’s behalf. Drop them off at his shop at 1086 Gordon Dr.

 

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