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How two 12-year-olds helped the homeless in Langley

Friends put together 25 “warm up bags” stuffed with necessities
Best friends Payje Burgess (L) and Remy Hinze, with items they collected to help the homeless (special to Langley Advance Times)

It all started with a question.

Willoughby resident Tamiko Hinze was driving with her 12-year-old daughter Remy in Langley when they saw some homeless people.

“Mom, did you notice, there are more homeless people in Langley than before?,” Remy pondered.

Tamiko asked her daughter what she thought the cause was.

“I think it’s because of COVID,” Remy said, and got really quiet.

“I felt really sad for them,” she would later tell the Langley Advance Times.

With public spaces like rec centres closed down, there were fewer place for homeless people to go.

They no longer had access to public park washrooms, rec centre showers, or non-profits to clean the clothes on their backs.

READ ALSO: COVID means no showers or washrooms to help stave off virus for Aldergrove’s homeless

Remy wanted to do something to help.

And so did her best friend, Payje Burgess, 12, a fellow Grade 7 student at U-Connect school in the South Langley area of Brookswood.

READ ALSO: More than 200 remain homeless on Langley streets

“They both decided this was something they were passionate to do,” Mom recalled.

They turned it into a school project, worked up a list of needed item, and posted it online, looking for donations.

One person contributed hand-knitted toques.

A dentist donated toothpaste.

And there were other contributions, including cash donations; enough that they were able to fill 25 “warm up” bags with necessities like the toques, the tooth pasts, as well as toothbrushes, granola bars, warm socks and gloves, and more.

It took them just seven days to put the bags together.

It was getting cold out, so time was of the essence, Remy explained.

“We wanted to get it out fast,” Remy commented.

Then, the pair talked to their school liaison officer, who picked up the bags on Friday, Nov. 6 and said they would be distributed by fellow RCMP officers to people in need.

“This is perfect,” he said.

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Best friends Payje Burgess (L) and Remy Hinze, with the completed warmup bags they put together to help the homeless (special to Langley Advance Times)

Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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