A Kemptville resident with a big heart is among those spearheading a campaign this season to make care packages for those in need. Chrissie Norton shared her personal story in a local social media group as a way to explain why her care packages project is important to her.
“As many of you know, my story involves a period of my life where I was once a victim of domestic violence, and a suicidal, homeless drug addict,” Chrissie wrote. “Because of that, and knowing how hard it can be, and meeting many people who were/are struggling with these terrifying life circumstances, I’d really love to give back in any way I can.”
Chrissie is urging locals to realize that anyone can fall victim to homelessness, domestic violence, and mental health problems. “It could even be you, or a family member one day,” she wrote. “The thought is scary, but I’d love you all to give hope that there are people who love those who seem so hopeless.”
Chrissie is no stranger to helping out the less fortunate with care packages. This year, she wants to put together care packages using Ziploc bags, rather than using the baskets that she handed out last year. This is because she has realized that the baskets, while aesthetically pleasing, are not very useful once empty, and only pose an annoyance for the recipient to have to transport and store.
Assembling care packages is a popular activity at this time of year. The winter months present an especially difficult challenge for those living homeless. By happy coincidence, the Christmas season – which is by all accounts the “season of giving” – happens to fall right at the start of winter. The care packages given out in the spirit of the season therefore go a long way when the bitter cold of winter starts to bite. “A lot of these people don’t get anything at all for Christmas, so this can mean a whole lot to them, and bring them some peace and joy in such a hard season of their lives,” Chrissie explained. “Even one granola bar can make a difference in someone’s life!” In addition to care packages for the homeless, Chrissie would also like to assemble some specifically for victims of domestic violence this year.
Some specific items that Chrissie is seeking for the care packages are: Leftover Halloween candy, chips, large Ziploc freezer bags, granola bars or protein bars, protein drinks, juice boxes or juice mix, hats, mittens, socks, mini deodorant and hygiene products, and hand warmers. For the victims of domestic violence, Chrissie has at least two specific items in mind. “I would really love to be able to give them each a gift card to get their nails done,” she wrote. “Along with a nice zucchini bread.” There is also a special Christmas surprise that Chrissie would like to include in the packages – homemade cards. “Anything will do for these! A nice hand written message from a kiddo, a handmade card, or even a store bought card with a sweet message!”
Those wishing to contribute to Chrissie’s care packages campaign can get in touch with her through Facebook. Her profile name is Chrissie Elizabeth.