A group of Abbotsford high school graduates recently obtained a grant to provide winter care packages to 275 individuals in the community. (Submitted photo)

A group of Abbotsford high school graduates recently obtained a grant to provide winter care packages to 275 individuals in the community. (Submitted photo)

Abbotsford grads use grant to provide 275 winter care packages

Tote bags filled with winter gear, toiletry items and gift cards

A group of Abbotsford high school graduates recently distributed 275 winter care packages throughout the community.

The students are all graduates of Abbotsford senior secondary school in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

They obtained a $6,000 grant from Rising Youth, a program led by TakingITGlobal to help youth build Canada and develop life skills by giving back to their communities.

The students used the money to purchase items for the care packages, which consisted of toques, gloves, $10 McDonald’s gift cards, scarves, three or four water bottles, granola bars, toothbrushes, toothpaste and bars of soap. Some of the packages also included sanitary pads for women.

They had also wanted to include more food, but recognized there would be a challenge in keeping it refrigerated, and decided to provide the McDonald’s gift cards instead.

RELATED: Abbotsford student fills and delivers backpacks to vulnerable youth

FreschCo provided the group with 300 tote bags at a discounted price.

“We were planning on putting the items in a backpack, but we realized they probably already have backpacks and so we did not want to overburden them with backpacks; hence, we put the items in tote bags,” said participant Armaan Arora.

The care packages were distributed to the Salvation Army and along Gladys Avenue, Lonzo Road and other areas in Abbotsford.

The group also donated three cases of water bottles to the Salvation Army.

In addition to Armaan Arora, the students participating in the program included his cousin Sourav Arora. The cousins are both studying medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and wanted to give back to the community before moving abroad.

Also participating were Gurleen Singh, Sukhdev Gill, and Harnoor Bandesha, all students at University of the Fraser Valley.

Singh is studying kinesiology, while Gill is pursuing a career in criminology and Bandesha in business.

The group said the motivation behind the project was to help the homeless problem in the community.

RELATED: Abbotsford student uses grant to create 30 care packages for unsheltered

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