A Gift of Warmth offers hope to homeless

As it droppped down to 40 below with the wind chill recently there was a plan put in place to make it a tiny bit better for some of those living on the streets of Prince George.

Adam Prytula of Adamant Prints has designed a rays of hope logo that will be on each of 100 hoodies that will be handed out by the Spare A Pair group that asks residence to donate cold weather gear they distribute to those in need.

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The goal is to raise enough money so 100 hoodies can be given out this winter and with a $25 donation people can support the Gift of Warmth effort that sees not only the rays of hope hoodie, but a toque and a canvas bag going to those who need it the most.

So far the effort has raised $575 and the final goal is $2,500 to cover the cost of the hoodies, toques and canvas bags that are distributed in a bundle.

The message of hope is an important one to send out with the hoodies, Prytula said.

"I want to attach meaning to the hoodies and hope is something I've been working on a lot myself lately," he said. "It's really a glass half full versus a glass half empty approach to life and when we approach life with a glass half full attitude and you look at the future and see that it can be brighter and it can be better then that gives us the energy to push forward and it helps see us through the tough times in front of us."

Prytula said when we're in the opposite of hope - despair - it seems like those tough times are never ending.

"But if we have hope we can push through the darkness and into the daylight, so to speak," Prytula said. "I tried to convey hope in the design on the hoodie with the rays and the word 'hope' going in upward angles. There's a lot that's meant behind this one word so I'm hoping people take something good out of it."

Prytula is worried about how people will survive this cold weather as they spend the night outside, he said.

"I can't provide a home for them but hopefully I can give them some extra warmth," Prytula said. "I want them to know that there are people out there that are thinking of them and that there people out there that want them to do well."

This is an ongoing fundraiser but of course the sooner those hoodies can be distributed the better, he added. It's important to give back.

"I want to leave a better planet for my kids," Prytula said. "When they grow up and my life is done and I can't do anything else, I want to be able to look at my kids and say I did everything I could for them and made a better world for them - and not just my kids but all the youth out there."

The well being of one of us is the well being of all of us, he added.

"We can't move forward as a society when so many people are being left behind and forgotten," Prytula said. "The only way we can truly move forward as a society and as a species is when we all move forward."

Life is stressful for everyone but when you're just trying to survive a night outside when it's 40 below, that's a whole other kind of stress, he explained.

"It's unbelievable what some people have to go through so when we lend a helping hand and we lift up others who are down then we all move forward, we all benefit," Prytula said.

The Spare a Pair initiative will be in the streets throughout these cold winter months giving out the hoodies, toques and canvas bags, along with other donations they have received from the community including gloves, hats, scarves and blankets.

"Thank you to Spare A Pair for the great work they are doing."

To donate to the Gift of Warmth fundraiser visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/donate/2763085887119815/10162863639975123/

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