People who used to donate to Kimz Angels are now on the receiving end, evidence of just how much has changed for many people in the pandemic.
“The people that gave last year or years before, now we are giving to them. That’s the hard part,” said Kim Snow.
Kimz Angels are seeing the working poor and more families needing help.
“Honestly I have never seen so many families,” she said.
She said many are precariously close to poverty.
“I just want people to know, anyone can end up on the streets,” Snow said.
Kimz Angels is gearing up for Christmas and will be having the Fill the Ambulance events
Saturday, Dec. 12 and Sunday, Dec. 13 at the Focus West Logistics warehouse in Walnut Grove (not at the IGA as previously mentioned). The warehouse is at unit 180 9347 200A St.
The volunteers plan to be on site 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. People can drop off non-perishable foods, new clothing (gently used clothing can no longer be accepted due to COVID-19), money or gift cards.
“And diapers. We’re really desperate for diapers,” she added.
Donors stay in their vehicles and volunteers unload items to maintain social distancing.
“We already have about 230 families,” she said.
As well Best Babies, a family program, will also be sending names of more families in need.
The Angels have also set up a new way to distribute the donations for the holidays. Instead of having people in need drop by to pick up food and gifts and hang out with Santa for a bit as in the past, Kimz Angels has devised a process that sees volunteers deliver the goods to people’s homes, followed in another vehicle by the Jolly Ol’ Elf himself if they are visiting a family with children. Snow said the aim is to keep a bit of the Christmas magic for the children.
“They’ve had a rough year as it is so you can’t really take Santa away from them, too,” she said.
This way Santa can visit in a vehicle behind ones that contains food and gift donations that are left on the door step so volunteers can stay physically distanced from recipients.
“We still want them to feel the spirit of Christmas,” she said.
Snow, the founder of the group that distributes everything from hot soup to clothing was named the H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year Award winner recently.
“It is our pleasure to acknowledge the hard and continuous work that Kim organizes in our community,” said chamber president Brad Kiendl. “Kim and her Angels are out finding those in need and trying to make their lives better one meal, blanket and smile at a time.”
It’s been about 20 years of working to help the needy, and in that time, the number of people involved in Kimz Angels has grown.
The group has gone from the original three, Snow, Vince Ford and Steve Stew, to more than 75 members, who coordinate the collection and delivery of clothing, furniture, food, baby items, kids toys, school supplies, and more for families and individuals to help people.
The group helps seniors, and works in 13 local schools as well as having a mobile unit with nurses and paramedics out nights and weekends to help street people.
“We do appreciate it and we’re very humbled,” Snow said of the award.
Snow said the real value of the award is that is helps spread awareness about the ongoing and increasing need that exists in the community.
“I hate to see we’re growing. It’s not a good sign that we are growing. I’d rather we were not,” she commented.
But the volunteers and donors continue their efforts around Langley.
Since the pandemic, the loss of that close connection with people has been the biggest change, something hard for people like Snow, who calls herself a “hugger.”
“Even for our seniors, we used to go to people’s homes,” she noted.
At their base, the Vineyard Langley Church, they must do cooking and their work to distribute clothing and other items out of doors to maintain distancing and follow COVID protocols.
The ways Kimz Angels provide help to the community may change but Snow and her group remain committed to helping others.
Thank you everyone for your kindness and your support I feel blessed thankful and honoured To be part of the change in...Posted by Kimz Angels on Thursday, November 26, 2020
Snow, a longtime resident of Langley, won the Community Impact Award at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence night in 2019. People may be familiar with the Langley-based group from seeing the pink trucks out an about in the community picking up donations or distributing items to help the less fortunate residents.
“We’ll get through this together. We’re strong. We’ll get through it,” Snow said.
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