From left to right: Cst. Beth O’Connor, Cpl. Amelia Hayden and Gaylene Thorogood of the Port Alberni RCMP fill up socks to be delivered at Christmastime. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Port Alberni RCMP fill ‘stockings’ for less fortunate

Pair of socks filled with goodies, necessities, will go to people on the street

For the second year in a row, Port Alberni’s RCMP will be delivering some Christmas cheer to the homeless in the community.

Staff at the RCMP station spent the afternoon on Thursday, Dec. 19 filling socks with toiletries and goodies so that they can be delivered to people in need over the holiday season. Last year, they passed out 52 “stockings”. This year, the number has gone up to 100.

“We’ve doubled up on last year,” explained Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Amelia Hayden. “We’ve had such great success with it, and we know that the need is great.”

The RCMP first took on the initiative in 2018; the task was previously done by a local church. Hayden said she is hoping that it will become an annual event.

READ MORE: Port Alberni RCMP deliver Christmas cheer to community’s homeless

“It’s a way that the police are able to positively engage with people—the homeless, less fortunate and others in need—at the street level,” she said. “To bring a little bit of joy their way this holiday season.”

The stockings—which are filled with two pairs of socks, toques donated by Pacific Western Brewing, toiletries and candy—were scheduled to be delivered by uniformed police officers on Monday, Dec. 23 during the day and into the evening. Fresh socks, explained Hayden, are one of the most-needed items from people who are living on the streets.

“We want to put a positive presence out there,” said Hayden. “The holidays can be joyful for some people, but very different for others. It’s amazing how something so simple can brighten somebody’s day.”

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