Supporting local youth in need

Community Impact

Supporting local youth in need

A Queen's student group is helping youth experiencing homelessness weather the cold.

By Communications Staff

February 22, 2024


Bags of Promise

Queen's students loading backpacks with donations for the Bags of Promise annual donation drive. (Supplied photo)

With the winter weather set in, a group of Queen’s students have delivered more than 30 backpacks full of hygiene products, winter gear, nonperishable food, and other items to Tipi Moza, a local non-profit organization that helps Indigenous youth experiencing homelessness. This donation drive was the latest put together by the Kingston chapter of Bags of Promise, a non-profit organization founded by Queen’s students Celina Lovisotto and Brooke Baker in 2022.

“This is the third annual donation drive Bags of Promise has done to support youth in the Kingston community, and we’ve been steadily seeing our impact grow over the years,” says Kyran Sachdeva, Queen’s Health Sciences student and Director of Service and incoming Co-Chair of Bags of Promise. “This year we wanted to focus on helping youth from equity-deserving groups, and were pleased to partner with Tipi Moza, who have a strong track record of working with Indigenous people in need of shelter in Kingston.”

More than 25 students had been working since the start of the fall semester to secure the donations to make this gift possible. After partnering with Tipi Moza, Bags of Promise asked them for a list of the items they need most to support people during the winter. They then worked with Queen’s students, local businesses, community members, and corporate headquarters to gather as many of these items as they could.

Bags of Promise

Bags of Promise donated more than 30 backpacks full of items to help young people experiencing homelessness through the winter. (Supplied photo)

Bags of Promise used creative tactics to garner donations, including partnering with SPINCO Kingston to hold charity exercise classes. All proceeds generated by four “Spin it Forward” classes in December were put toward procuring items for the donation drive. Bags of Promise also partnered with the Lululemon store in downtown Kingston, which donated merchandise to be used as the prize in a raffle that raised funds for donations.

Several corporations also contributed donations. Just in Case donated backpacks, Rebels Refinery gave hygiene products, and Dr. Bronner’s contributed shampoo.

Many Queen’s students pitched in by contributing items when Bags of Promise collected donations on campus.

“A lot of students come to Queen’s because they want to make positive changes in the world, and there’s no better place for us to direct our efforts while we’re here than the Kingston community we call home,” says Sachdeva. “We’re so grateful to all the campus and community partners who helped us put together a successful donation drive this year.”

Bags of Promise is already looking ahead to their next big project: a menstrual product drive that will collect tampon donations in early April. All products will be donated to OneRoof Youth shelter to help mitigate period poverty within the Kingston community.

A registered Canadian non-profit organization, Bags of Promise has grown since its 2022 founding and now has chapters in Guelph, London, and Toronto.

Learn more on the Bags of Promise website.

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