It's Kim Kabel's motto to lend a helping hand at every single opportunity that presents itself.

"When I see someone in need ... I find items and get it to where it needs to be," Kabel says.

It comes from a place of wanting to make a difference in the world and knowing what it feels like to be at your lowest.

Kabel herself was once homeless for a short time. Now, she's made it her mission to always pay it forward.

"(I'm) just trying to spread some inspiration and give people some hope that there is a lot of kindness out there and people willing to help."

Since last fall, Kabel has helped to collect winter clothing for the homeless, volunteered her time at local soup kitchens, and gathered Christmas trees for anyone who couldn't find one themselves during the pandemic holiday.

"Anywhere I'm seeing that there needs to be some help, I get out there," Kabel says.

Using her social media as a tool, Kabel often reaches out with requests to local community groups in order to collect the items needed for a particular cause.

Kabel has been able to collect items ranging from hats and mittens to walkers and wheelchairs. Now, she has people who reach out to her directly to ask for her assistance in collecting a needed donation.

"I just want to give back," Kabel explains. "It's rewarding and you can tell that it's taking a load off of their mind.

"And they smile. Smiles are still free," Kabel says.

Christmas trees for all

This Christmas, Kabel took on a seasonal project for her community.

"That one broke my heart," she says.

"I just saw that people were saying they weren't going to have trees and you could almost hear the disappointment in their stories."

Kabel says the importance of a Christmas tree goes beyond a simple decoration.

"Christmas starts with a tree," the St. James resident says. "I just thought, I have to do something."

A few quick posts to her community social media pages later, Kabel says her family's home resembled something akin to Santa's workshop.

"The response was incredible," she says with a smile.

"We had them outside in boxes and bags and they all went! I even still have trees coming in," she says.

While her storage space is beginning to dwindle, Kabel says she'll take every donation she has room for.

"There (are) people out there that don't even have a pot to cook in," she says. "They're just starting out." 

"I want to make a difference"

Kabel's current project aims to help survivors of domestic abuse.

"I kept reading that domestic violence was going up with this COVID and I was seeing even in my local (social media) groups that people were putting pleas out there on other's behalf and I just thought, 'there's something I can do.'"

Items for donation. (Supplied)Some of the items Kabel has collected for victims of domestic violence. (Supplied)

Backpacks, small suitcases, pillows, blankets, toothbrushes, and many other hygiene items, art supplies, and even toys are among the items Kabel is collecting to help provide to survivors. Kabel says she's already collected two truckloads worth of items and is hoping to be able to donate more.

"It's been very heartwarming to see people reaching back to reach others," she says.

Giving back wherever she can

Kabel's giving heart comes from a place of faith and a place of understanding.

"I've been there, I've been at the bottom and I had people reach back to help me," Kabel says.

Homeless and living on the streets for a short time, Kabel says she knows what it feels like to live in that darkness.

"I was one of the lucky ones that had family that loved me, believed in me."

Kabel says her father taught her from a young age the importance of giving back to others whenever and however you can.

"I'm getting back in touch with who I am. I'm healing from my hurt and I'm not alone. There's other people who have been at the bottom," Kabel says.

"I want to make a difference in their lives."

Lend a helping hand

Kabel is currently collecting a variety of items for donation, including small suitcases and backpacks, hygiene items, and anything else that could be useful to victims of domestic abuse.

"I never say no," Kabel says, "because I know that there's somebody that can use it."

For those wanting to help her cause but don't have items to donate, Kabel suggests making and giving cards that she can include in the care packages she is creating.

"I know that there's lots of people out there who make homemade cards and maybe they could put a word of inspiration in there like 'hope' or 'believe' or 'never give up,'" Kabel says.

Anyone who wants to contribute to Kabel's cause can find her on Facebook or give her a call at 204-781-6575.