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Backpack Blessings Looking for Donations



COURTNEY McCLURE The Standard


NORTH DURHAM: The Scugog Bikers’ Church, at Emmanuel Community Church, in Port Perry, have come together to create Backpack Blessings, to help the local homeless population.

“[The members of the church] also have a spiritual faith, they ride [motorcycles] with,” said Pastor Millson.

About five or six years ago, members of the church noticed there was an increasing homeless population in cities like Peterborough and Oshawa. They also noticed a lack of community support.

So, the members of the church created the “Blessing Bag. Originally, the Blessing Bags were small freezer bags with hats and mitts stuffed into them. Then the bags were distributed among the homeless population in the local and non-local areas.

Backpack Blessings has helped people of all ages; “From as young as kids who hardly shave to old fellas and ladies that are well up in years,” shared Pastor Millson.

He also said, the community may be wondering why the Bikers’ Church would want to help the homeless population.

According to Pastor Millson, many of the members of the Bikers’ Church come from 'assorted backgrounds,' including ones of homelessness.

“[Some of us] relate to these people,” he said. So that allows [us] to relate with some of the challenges people living on the streets face.”

“Jesus says, ‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink’ and that’s pretty much exactly what you are doing [by donating],” said Pastor Millson, speaking for this effort through the Bikers’ Church. “In the end of that [verse,] he says, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40 New Living Translation. NLT)

Helping people has been a “blessing” to Pastor Millson and the members of the Bikers Church. “There are no motives, there are no rewards, other than to do what scripture tells us to do and give back a tiny bit of what we’ve been given,” he explained.

Talking to homeless individuals is an interesting experience, said Pastor Millson. He has met people from various walks of life.

According to Pastor Millson, it is no one’s desire to be homeless; there are various reasons people end up homeless.

To support this campaign, you can donate a new or gently-used backpack along with some necessities, such as warm socks, toiletries, Tim Hortons gift cards and other supplies.

Reading glasses are also a great idea to include inside a backpack because many people cannot afford to visit the eye doctor.

Susan Merriman, from Right at Home Realty, in Port Perry, has offered her location as a drop spot for the backpacks. She said, “I hope the backpacks will provide comfort to those who are homeless this holiday season.”

Donations can be dropped off to Right at Home Realty, at 237 Queen Street in Port Perry, during office hours.

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