News / Calgary

Calgary kids launch mitten drive for the homeless

Phoenix Glenn, 12, wanted to give back after attending We Day and thinking about the problem of homelessness

Maya Glenn, 9, Charlie Glenn, 10, Hunter Glenn, 9, Phoenix Glenn, 12, and Mattea Burrill, 11, made a stop in at Shoppers Drug Mart in Evergreen on Thursday evening to pick up donations for their Mitts and Gloves Drive for the homeless.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Maya Glenn, 9, Charlie Glenn, 10, Hunter Glenn, 9, Phoenix Glenn, 12, and Mattea Burrill, 11, made a stop in at Shoppers Drug Mart in Evergreen on Thursday evening to pick up donations for their Mitts and Gloves Drive for the homeless.

Phoenix Glenn is a typical 12-year-old with typical seventh-grade problems. But he had a realization on his way to a medical appointment a few weeks ago.

“I was on my way to a psychologist appointment,” said Phoenix. “I have some mental health issues.”

He remarked to his mom that he understands that homeless people often have mental health issues, and that he might someday end up homeless too.

“When I heard that, of course, it hits you right in the heart,” said his mom, Natasha Thomas.

“This was right after We Day, and We Day is a great way to get kids talking about how they can help.”

After talking with his cousin Mattea Burrill, they came up with a plan later that day to do something to help homeless people in and around Calgary.

“We’re going to collect donations of mittens and gloves for any homeless shelters,” said Mattea, “and stuff the gloves with candy and Halls — things like that, that they might need.”

Phoenix’s brother Hunter, 9, and sister Charlie, 10, got involved as well. They came up with the name Kids Who Care Calgary and set up an email account, just to make things official.

Brian Jones, pharmacist and owner at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Evergreen Village, shakes Phoenix Glenn’s hand as he offers him a bag of donated items for their Mitts and Gloves Drive.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Brian Jones, pharmacist and owner at the Shoppers Drug Mart in Evergreen Village, shakes Phoenix Glenn’s hand as he offers him a bag of donated items for their Mitts and Gloves Drive.

They printed up some posters to put around their community, and the donations are already coming in. By Wednesday they had 26 pairs of gloves or mittens.

Thomas said the kids’ school, Tanbridge Academy, was also quick to get on board.

“They had a meeting, and they made a poster. Then they talked about getting the school involved by setting up a bin,” she said.

The kids reached out to some businesses for donations. On Thursday afternoon they picked up some supplies from Shoppers Drug Mart in Evergreen. Brian Jones, pharmacist and owner of store said he got a note under his office door and replied.

“I reached out via email and got a sense of what they needed,” said Jones.

He said he’s glad to see kids thinking about others, and that the donations will be going directly to those in need.

This Monday, the students will be going to each classroom at their school to give a presentation about their plan.

“It makes us feel really good that we’re helping many people in need, especially during Christmas time,” said Phoenix.

He noted that Christmas is mostly about kids, and he thinks adults in need sometimes get forgotten about at this time of year.

To make a donation, contact kidswhocarecalgary@gmail.com

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