An Abbotsford student delivered 26 care packages to vulnerable youth on Friday (Feb. 19) after winning grants from two charities.
Sourav Arora, a Grade 11 student in the International Baccalaureate program at Abbotsford Senior Secondary, received a total of $1,050 from Rising Youth and the United Way.
He purchased and filled backpacks with warm clothing and hygienic items, which were then donated to youth on the street and at Cyrus Centre in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
Arora started to work on the project in January to start off the new year by giving back and hopefully igniting a sense of unity in the community amid all the challenges the pandemic has brought.
“When I was hearing the high-speed winds rattle windows and shake the trees outside, I thought about the youth who lived on the streets and likely did not have the clothing preferred for this kind of weather,” he said.
He and two friends from the Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society made a list of the items they felt vulnerable youth could most use, including toques, scarves, gloves, socks, jackets, sweatpants, shampoo/conditioner, dental products and female hygiene products.
The packs also included $10 gift cards for Tim Hortons.
Many of the items were purchased, but several were also donated by Foundry Abbotsford, United Way, Plato’s Closet, Fraser Valley Dental Specialists, and Value Village.
“I was overwhelmed with all the support our initiative got for this project. I think this year was definitely a reminder for everyone to be grateful for their warm homes and always try to help those most vulnerable whenever possible,” Arora said.
He hopes to become a doctor said he plans to make it an ongoing campaign to support vulnerable peers in various ways, such as hosting soup kitchens and advocating for policies to address youth homelessness.
Arora has been involved in the community from a young age, including as a member of the Abbotsford Youth Council, BC Youth Parliament and BC Youth Council.