After finding out that children within the Child and Family Services system in Manitoba use garbage bags to move their items, Winnipeg resident, Gary Wuirch decided he needed to do something.
Over the past few weeks, Wuirch has been collecting backpacks and suitcases for kids in care. He says it is a simple way to give the kids a bit of dignity.
"It is heartbreaking. They are usually in a tough situation, having to move quickly in some cases. So just giving them a little bit of a, I don't know if they could smile in that situation, but just something that is theirs in that moment, a small little gift, will hopefully put a little smile on their face. Under the circumstances, I don't know if that is possible, but anything we can do that can help would be fantastic," said Wuirch.
With most kids in care being between the ages of 4 and 10, Wuirch says they are looking for backpacks and suitcases geared towards that age group.
They are also looking for basic suitcases, backpacks and duffel bags for the older kids.
Last week Wuirch had over 70 bags in his sunroom, with at least 6-8 pieces being dropped off on his front steps daily.
"Right now we are hoping that everything that comes in, goes out. We are just in the process of setting that up. Macdonald Youth Services is going to take 75 items to have on hand at all times, and we will replenish. There are dozens of offices, so I am hoping that we will get 10-20 pieces in 20-30 places and just keep replenishing as needed," explained Wuirch.
Two churches, Windsor United Church and Meadowood United Church, have also stepped up, offering their space to store the bags.
"People are generous. You hear that all the time about Manitobans and their generosity, and it is shining through here. People are constantly asking how they can help," said Wuirch.
Those interested in making a donation can do so by email Gary at email@example.com, or by dropping off bags at Windsor United Church or Meadowood United Church during regular office hours.