Roughly 1,500 people have left their homes in Peguis First Nation after massive flooding and some of those people were forced to leave with only the clothes on their backs.
Joy Klassen has a cousin in Peguis First Nation and she also runs something called Granny on a Mission.
"Last summer we did something called Grannies on a Mission. I partnered with a friend who's a pastor and her church," Klassen says, referring to a call put out to help people in Shamattawa First Nation in Northern Manitoba after many suicides.
This time it's just Klassen wanting to help the children who have been displaced from the flooding in Peguis First Nation.
"I figured, I can do something. When I spoke with my cousin, she said their road also has the potential of being washed out. About 1,500 people have been displaced to parts in Manitoba including Winnipeg. It represents about 700 homes and it's not a good thing."
Klassen is a grandmother to four and thinks about what she would do if her family were in need. Crystal Smith is the Director of Jordan's Principal Peguis First Nation, and Klassen's cousin.
"Last week the kids were still wearing winter boots because when they came, they hopped on buses and were taken away with their families, only wearing the clothes on their back. Every First Nation has Jordan's Principal operating in it, which mandates to provide services and resources for children with special needs. At this point there are about 400 children enrolled in Peguis and three-quarters of those are displaced."
Unlike last year's donations, any collections for those out of their homes in Peguis don't have to be shipped anywhere, which saves on costs.
The items being collected are anything people need on a day-to-day basis, including:
- pajamas for children and youth
- new socks and underwear
- spring/summer jackets and shoes
- feminine hygiene products
- summer clothes of any kind
- gently used strollers
- grocery store gift cards
Klassen will be collecting donations up until Monday, May 16. Anyone interested in giving can text or call Klassen at 204-223-5467.
"I wouldn't want my grandchildren to walk around in winter boots when it's hot outside. Any donations are 100% goodness. It seems so simple."