Robin Price and TRU athletes hand out supply bags to the homeless in Kamloops

Wolfpack gives back

A group of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) athletes has helped the homeless community in Kamloops this holiday season by giving out supply bags filled with necessities. 

Robin Price, a fifth year nursing student spearheaded the initiative.  

"I walked into a grocery store one day and there were some (homeless) people sitting outside and I just thought about how lucky I have been, and how much this community has done for me, and how I really wanted to give back to the community before I left," Price tells Castanet.

While at TRU, she was on the women’s soccer team and enlisted her fellow athletes to get involved.

“My entire team each donated $10, or however much they wanted,” she says. “And I also sent out an email to the athletic director and both the volleyball teams and men's soccer team as well.”

The response Price received was overwhelming, and enabled a greater impact than what she anticipated.  

“I was pretty blown away at how much we ended up having, we ended up making 40 bags so that was really exciting, I didn’t think we’d be able to make quite as many as that,” Price explains. 

So on December 9th, Price and two members of the men's team, alongside her two roommates from the women’s volleyball team headed downtown Kamloops. 

“We drove down with my coach, Mark Pennington,” she says. “We put all the bags in the back of his truck and just walked down Victoria Street. We started at the bus station and went to the end of the street.” 

The TRU athletes were able to change locations as well, having leftover bags from the one street. 

“We actually got some bags out to the North Shore too because we had 10 extra bags after walking downtown,” says Price.  

Knowing that the COVID-19 pandemic gives people some apprehension, Price and company were careful when approaching people. 

“We tried not to disturb people but just asked them if they wanted a bag with supplies,” Price explains. “It was pretty cool to see their faces light up and it was pretty rewarding for us as well.”

Price decided to organize, purchase and create the bags herself, rather than go through one of the organizations in town. 

“I did a little bit of research to see what kind of supplies they would need,” she says. “It seems that Kamloops has quite a strong group to help people in need, but often they (the homeless) don’t get fresh fruit and other supplies, so we tried to focus on those things and put those in the bags.”

Price appreciates that the people of Kamloops help one another, and this was her way of giving back to the community that has supported her over her tenure at TRU. 

“Being part of the athletics there is tons of organizations and community support that goes into having our team run every year,” says Price. “I know that we’ve had so much support from people coming out to games and also in fundraising, just different things throughout the community that have enabled us to play soccer and all the other sports at TRU.”

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