From left to right, Chance Young, Olivia Hesla, Mason Henderson, and Lily Kinash colour the “I Love You” hearts going into the Kin Kits. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

From left to right, Chance Young, Olivia Hesla, Mason Henderson, and Lily Kinash colour the “I Love You” hearts going into the Kin Kits. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

KIN KITS to provide cold weather supplies to local homeless

The 100 kits will be distributed by local organizations and outreach groups

By Brennan Phillips

Western News Staff

The smallest kindness can change the world.

That’s the idea behind KIN KIT, a volunteer project that’s providing 100 winter survival packs filled with socks, gloves, a warm hat, heating packs and more to the homeless to help them get through the winter.

“I think any act of kindness makes a difference,” said Zara Kinash, the organizer behind the KIN KITs along with her husband Taras, on Sunday at the party organized to put the 100 kits together at the Nautical Dog Cafe.

As winter draws closer, Kinash said she saw an opportunity to give back to the community, and to help instill a giving mentality in her children.

“With social media, and technology, there’s so much isolation, and I really wanted to do something to teach my children gratitude,” Kinash explained. “This was a way of giving back that wasn’t connected to a church, other than maybe the Church of the Community.”

Some of the kids who volunteered helped their parents stock a few of the kits, as well as coloured in the ‘I Love You’ hearts that went into each of the packs.

With support of the community, the KIN KIT project was able to raise the money for the items with donation jars in local businesses. The Penticton Dental Centre donated the toothbrushes, and local business woman Courtney Bouchard donated protein bars for each pack.

This year’s packs were ready to go in just an hour with the team of volunteers, far faster than the four they had planned on. Kinash already has plans and ideas on how to expand the program for next year.

“The Backpack program in Victoria, it gave me the idea that we could take all the things we have here and put them inside a used backpack, with maybe a used sweatshirt or a blanket,” she added. “Kind of the evolution of what we’re doing; it would give them something to carry all of the things in, and to hold larger things too.”

The 100 kits will be distributed to local organizations, including the Soupateria and the Monday Night Dinners program.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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