Third annual Christmas in the Bag donation drive to help city's most vulnerable

Christmas in the Bag is back

Castanet Kamloops is thrilled to announce that we'll be running Christmas in the Bag again this holiday season.

Each year, the community donates much-needed items for the Mustard Seed Kamloops. Things like gloves, toques, socks and toothbrushes are collected during the month-long donation drive.

We then take everything and stuff a few hundred bags, which are handed out at the Mustard Seed's Christmas dinner to the city's most vulnerable, as a gift to take home. 

"This is Christmas in the Bag's third year and we're so excited to continue the tradition. Every year, we're always blown away by how the community comes through," says Tereza Verenca, editor at Castanet Kamloops. "We know this year won't be any different. Kamloops always steps up to the plate."

Christmas in the Bag, in partnership with HUB International, will run from now (Nov. 25) until Sunday, Dec. 20. 

People can drop off new, unused items to any of the four HUB locations in Kamloops: Sahali Mall (198-945 W Columbia Street), 299 Third Ave., 19-750 Fortune Dr. and 2-111 Oriole Rd. Donations can also be dropped off at Castanet Kamloops, at 1-275 Seymour St.

Accepted items include:

  • Underwear (men’s and women’s)
  • Wool or cotton socks
  • Shavers (men’s and women’s)
  • Coffee gift cards
  • Emergency blankets
  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, floss
  • Packets of hot chocolate
  • Hand warmers (hot pockets)
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Toques
  • Granola or protein bars
  • A personalized Christmas card with a message 

"People take many of these items for granted, but for some, they're the difference between having a good day and a bad day," says the HUB's Larry Grant. "We're happy to do our part with Christmas in the Bag and hope residents stop by one of our locations and donate what they can."

Jeff Arlitt, the Mustard Seed Kamloops’ wellness advocate, is looking forward to hosting the annual dinner.

"Our patrons' faces really light up when Santa stops by with his big bag of gifts," he says, noting COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed. "It's truly a magical moment." 

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