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Stories and Wishlists from Homeless and Refugees at and
[December 09, 2016]

Stories and Wishlists from Homeless and Refugees at and

"Mobilizing Every Community As A Resource"

VICTORIA, Dec. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - This holiday season, people anywhere can connect in a safe, meaningful way through two websites containing the personal stories and wishlists of the homeless and refugees. This registered Canadian charity provides a structure that can be used by any community - for free, by clicking on "Add Your City." Communities everywhere are encouraged to join.

Media are invited to an event for gift-giving with homeless and refugees and potential employers at St. Aidan's United Church, 3703 St. Aidan's Street, Victoria, December 13, Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.  

In Victoria, BC, the homeless staying in four shelters operated by the Cool Aid Society, are interviewed by volunteers. Then those stories and wishlists are posted on the website. Then community members read the stories, pledge gifts and deliver or mail them to the shelter or designated location.

The homeless are looking for items such as boots, coats, clothing, and bus tickets. The purposes of are to foster empathy and help the homeless feel encouraged when they receive a requested gift, or a caring message.

Refugees are looking for employment leads, assistance to bring relatives to Canada from difficult conditions, and also clothing and common household items. Some of the stories shared include horrors of war such as a bomb falling on the breakfast table and a five-year old being shielded between the legs of his father running from bullets. The purpose of is to help refugees feel welcomed and included when they connect and receive a personal gift from a local resident. was founded in 2005, and is now in ten cities: Regina, Salmon Arm, Vernon, Victoria, Winnipeg and five cities in the Lower Mainland Vancouver. This is the first year refugee stories and gifts have been posted.

This approach enables a unique personal connection, based on the value of empathy that helps fulfill the meaning of being human. It mobilizes the community as a resource to touch the lives of those who feel ignored or separate from their neighbours.

Read the personal story of a homeless person at or a refugee at and pledge a gift, then deliver or mail your gift before December 22 from anywhere online (e.g., using the story ID number as the person's name and the shelter or drop-off as the shipping address.

These are "everybody wins" programs practicing empathy and encouraging the homeless, the refugees, and the interviewers who collected their stories, as well as the donors who give a gift.

Co-founder Daniel Keeran says: "Our approach is to harness the internet to create a structure that facilitates a safe and empathic connection with those in any trouble, such as the homeless and refugees." is a registered Canadian charity: 843548777RR0001


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