‘A new beginning’: Calgary family in need helped by local charity

A group of volunteers spent their Saturday morning outfitting a Calgary home with new appliances, furniture and food for a family in need.

Stephen’s Backpacks Society, an organization that helps those experiencing homelessness, led the furnishing charge.

The group pitched in their time to set up a home for a family of four fleeing domestic violence. That family recently left Calgary’s Discovery House.

“To move out with your kids into an empty home with a few makeshift beds and try to furnish it…I can’t even imagine what that would be like,” organizer Nancy McPhee told CTV News. “It’s just so wonderful to give a family a new beginning.”

The group paired with company Kidoodle.TV to bring in new beds, shelves and appliances. They even donated a barbecue and television.

Staff members spent their morning working on the home. They left Saturday afternoon, before the family came back.

“Because we’re not doing this for a ‘thank you,'” McPhee said. “But I’d love to be a fly on the wall (when the family comes home).”

Stephen’s Backpacks Society has outfitted almost three dozen homes in a similar fashion throughout the last 16 years. It’s also helped thousands of underprivileged Calgary children.

“It’s just like a heartbeat that keeps beating louder and louder, and I think it’s because of wonderful people that come alongside and say, ‘what can we do to help?'” McPhee said.

Volunteer Clara MacRaild says pitching in made her weekend.

“Being able to give back to the community in this way is so impactful,” she said.

She’s part of Kidoodle.TV, which is also giving the family vouchers for free food for a year.

“This is exactly what we need to be doing more of,” she said.

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