About four years ago she was in Honduras helping a non-profit. She saw too much of what goes on in the streets not to take action.
When Alyse Willmann got back to Prince George after a year of helping, she knew she could do the same for those in need in Prince George.
"When you come back home you really just want to continue by helping in your own community," Willmann said.
"Helping people has been my passion."
She started by taking to the downtown streets with her friends, handing out hot chocolate, coffee, gloves and toques. Then she and her church community, family and friends filled stockings and the Christmas on the Streets project has grown to handing out just a few stockings the first year, 50 the next year and last Christmas they handed out 75 stockings.
Now she'd like to focus on the children living in the VLA.
"I wanted to do something bigger but I didn't know where to start," Willmann said.
After getting a little direction from community members, Willmann and her friends, Emily and Nolan Hanson, have created the Help a Super Hero project where they're asking the community to donate backpacks filled with all the school supplies needed for those children going into Grades 1 to 3 and lunch kits for Kindergarteners.
"Emily and Nolan, with their knowledge and they're ability to reach out to the community have helped so much," Willmann said.
"So we're putting out the challenge for people to either fill a backpack or a lunch kit."
There's 221 children in inner city schools in Kindergarten up to Grade 3 that will get the donations collected by Willmann and the Hansons, while Willmann's church, College Heights Baptist, and the Hanson's church, Westwood Mennonite, will collect for students in Grades 4 to 7.
"I think it's important that the children know we've got their backs," Willmann said. "Every kid is a super hero. A good education gets a kid so far, right? It gives them a chance to pursue their dreams and gives them self-worth. I want to get as many people involved as possible because it gives us all a chance to change a kid's life."
Willmann wants to be part of giving children the boost they need. And what better way than to give them everything they need to get a fresh start at the beginning of the school year?
"Backpacks and school supplies are expensive," Willmann said. "So we decided to make a challenge out of it."
People are welcome to partner up with their friends, family and groups to donate backpacks filled with school supplies or lunch kits filled with colouring books and nutritional treats for children in Kindergarten.
"All kids need a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them," Willmann added.
People who are donating can also include a message of encouragement if they wish.
Deadline to donate is Aug. 29. There is also an option to donate the cash for either the backpacks, which cost $55 each or lunch kits which cost $25 each by emailing email@example.com, password superhero.
To put together backpacks or lunch kits get the list of items needed for each by visiting Help a Super Hero on Facebook and drop donations off at 1350 Fifth Ave.