We Care: Winter Survival Kits Initiative

I passed a homeless person last Saturday in front of the LCBO. He was sound asleep seated on the curb. He had wet himself and it was cold. And… I did nothing – not even ask the employees to check on him when the store closed. It set off some hard thinking.

There is a crisis right now with so many homeless people and a surge in Covid. I spent two days doing research for survival kits for the homeless and came up with a list of needed items. Not big kits at all – simply enough to get through a night and a day. I wished I had had one that Saturday night!
Suggested items are:

  • a bottle of water
  • warm socks
  • band aids
  • wet wipes
  • toothpaste & toothbrush
  • a snack (trail mix, a granola bar or something soft, applesauce with a spoon)
  • a comb
  • Kleenex

Warm socks always appeared at the top of the list. You are free to add to this list – it is only a suggestion.
All items will go in a bag with a handle with a We Care logo on the outside and an emergency number inside. I am hoping some people will include a personal note with the kit.

This kit can be prepared at home. You may want to shop in person or go online. Between Amazon and the Dollar Store, I did pretty well. If you have a bubble buddy, you could do it with them. Grandparents could do it with grandchildren (in the near future). Anyone could put together a kit once they have the appropriate items. It is probably easiest to order a lot and share among yourselves. Or bring or have Amazon send the order to me and I will organize it. There are a number of ways to distribute kits. Carry one in your car or on your person, and hand out as needed. Many people are not comfortable doing that.
We have a list of churches and agencies who are looking for kits like these and will assemble kits and send them on to them.

If you do not feel up to collecting items you could make a financial donation to ESG United Church to support this initiative with We Care in the subject line.

Donate online here through Canada Helps

  • Make monthly or one-time donations from your credit card or via PayPal
  • Select ESG Outreach Support in the drop down menu and type We Care in the message line.

We have placed several kits in the ESG Little Free Pantry as a couple of volunteers from ESG have prepared about 30 kits.

We are ready to act. Are you? If you would like to be part of this initiative, please contact Judi Healy.

With thanks,
Judi Healy on behalf of ESG Outreach

Janet and Alan deliver 50 kits to Street Health