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Homeless in Kamloops need blankets

Barbara Lundstrom shows off the latest blankets and sleeping bags donated to her cause.
November 29, 2014 - 10:31 AM

KAMLOOPS – When Barbara Lundstrom heard there were 77 people tallied in the 2014 homeless count, she knew she had to do something — especially when her idea about what to do woke her up at 4:30 a.m.

“I phoned my daughter,” Lundstrom says with a laugh. “She told me to phone her back in 12 hours.”

Lundstrom decided it would be up to her to gather blankets for all those who were sleeping outdoors as the cold winter months approached. Her friend Glenn Hilke told her when he was taking part in the homeless count, people asked for blankets to keep warm.

“They didn’t really want food or clothes. They were asking for blankets,” Lunstrom says.

Lundstrom began asking friends, family members and her fellow volunteers at the Mt. Paul United Church to help her secure enough blankets so each person who was homeless could have one.

“There are not many blankets at thrift shops,” Lunstrom says. One time she had to give housecoats to a man who was sleeping on the ground outside the church because there were no donated blankets at the church thrift shop.

Lundstrom surpassed her goal Thursday after Highland Valley Copper’s D-Crew donated 30 blankets and sleeping bags.

“The kindness from people has touched my old heart, I tell ya,” she says with a smile.

You would think Lundstrom’s job is done, but the goal has changed since she originally started.

“I need a truckload of blankets,” she says now that three homeless shelters have approached her, including Out of the Cold. Lundstrom is bound and determined to get as many blankets as she can.

“Everyone has a story. You never know in your life what can happen to you that will make you tumble,” she says.

To drop off a blanket, visit the Mt. Paul United Church at 140 Laburnum Street on the North Shore. The church is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at gbrothen@infonews.ca or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2014

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