Kamloops News

Purses for homeless women in Kamloops full of necessities for life on the street

Image Credit: Shutterstock

KAMLOOPS – A local resident will be singing carols and handing out purses to homeless women in an attempt to bring both Christmas cheer and helpful supplies.

Kim Coltman, a part-time employee at Headhunters Hair Salon, says she got the idea from social media. She read about a program which handed out purses full of female hygiene products and street survival items to homeless women.

“I thought ‘why can’t we do that in Kamloops?’” Coltman says.

The items inside the purses range from shampoo, brushes and combs, lip balm and tampons, even rape whistles and condoms. There are also toques, gloves and scarves. Every purse recipient will also receive a free pizza from Domino’s Pizza and cut and shampoo from Headhunters.

Coltman says the group of singers and volunteers will hit the streets tonight, Dec. 11, and will try to cover as much ground downtown as possible. She plans to go out again Dec. 18, this time meeting at Liberty Park on the North Shore.

She says they have about 150 purses to give away and has been blown away by the support of people and groups in the community.

Not only did the charitable group Christmas Amalgamated donated supplies for the purses but a private citizen dropped off 30 full-loaded purses each complete with a small hand-wrapped Christmas gift.

“We had another gentleman, who asked to remain anonymous, who donated $200 for extra items we weren't able to get donated,” Coltman says.

Any leftover bags will be given to New Life Community Kamloops to hand out to their clients.

While the idea is from Facebook, Coltman says her motivation came after working with the fashion show Fashion Speaks. She says the show in Kamloops was dedicated to raising funds and awareness for missing and murdered aboriginal women.

“So many of the women who go missing or murdered started out on the streets,” she says, adding if she can help — even in a small way — all the planning and bag stuffing will be worth it.

Coltman encourages all those who’d like to volunteer to meet her either this evening at the Headhunters Hair Salon or next week on the North Shore, especially if you’re a fan of Christmas carols.

“If anyone is interested please come out. I'm not a very good singer.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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