Feet need socks

April 1, 2021 - 12:00am -- Living City

Feet need socks
Teens take part in a Vancouver project distributing care kits for the homeless

In the Bible, we read, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40).

We asked ourselves during our online teens’ meetings: “Where can we meet the least of our brothers — the ones Jesus speaks about? Who are they?”

We wanted to love Jesus in those that suffer, right in our own cities.

We started the 6x1 Project in Vancouver because we wanted to spread unity around our cities. There are six steps to reach this goal.

Step 1: Look.

We started looking within our cities to see what problems were out there.

Step 2: Think.

We noted that homelessness and poverty were the most serious out of all the problems we found.

Step 3: Involve.

We then had a meeting with an expert who explained the reality of homelessness in our region.

We saw that socks were an item that would help people living on the streets, so we decided to start from there. We launched our campaign: “Feet Need Socks.”

We asked our friends and family to help us by giving donations. Some people helped us by offering other types of services, such as driving.

Step 4: Act.

Adjusting to the pandemic situation we are living in, we held online meetings to discuss our plan of action. We set a goal to collect 100 pairs of socks by the end of July. We also planned for the delivery and pick up.

We exceeded our goal and collected a total of 546 pairs of socks, which we delivered to an association that helps people in need.

Step 5: Evaluate.

We talked about how this project went and how we could improve it.

Step 6: Celebrate.

We had a good reason to celebrate, so we partied online with dance and snacks!

Our project didn’t stop there though. So, you might wonder — what was our next step?

The Focolare young people invited family members and friends to join us in providing at least 100 care kits as Christmas gifts for those who live on the streets in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside. In this project we partnered with two organizations, The Giving Truck and The Door Is Open.

This year, with Covid restrictions, we had to stay apart, but we looked for a way to do something together. We invited our friends to join in a Zoom call to pack together all those items.

A unique thing about the care kits is that each of us included a card with a positive message, such as “You are loved.”

The Giving Truck delivered 142 care kits just in time for Christmas, and there were items left over that were then made into more kits! All of us were so happy!

Here is some feedback from the teens who participated:

“It was a lot of fun being part of the care kit project. I enjoyed getting the items for the kit and giving it to a person in need. Making the cards to go with the kit was the most fun part for me, because maybe that card could make somebody’s day,” wrote Serena.

“Covid is challenging for all of us,” Krystyn shared, “but our family is grateful to have a roof over our heads. Doing this project helps us to think of our brothers and sisters who have no home.”

And it went beyond us teens — here’s what Kazu, one of our youth leaders, said: “I was able to participate in the care kits project in this season of giving, and my experience was super positive. I talked to a few friends of mine, and one of them invited his friends, and it spread like the ripple effect. It was so touching to see how generous people can be to help other people in need.”

- Marc and Anushka, British Columbia, Canada

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