Gracelyn Karpayk, 13, is collecting warm clothes for the homeless at Tenacious Detail in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023. Karpayk plans to distribute the donated items to the city’s homeless on Nov. 22 and serve chilli with the help of her mother. (Photo by Jesse Boily)Jesse Boily

A 13-year-old Grande Prairie youth has taken the initiative to gather warm clothes and donations to purchase needed items for homeless people in the city.

Gracelyn Karpayk, with the help of her mother Jamie Bruvold-McLennan, are busy filling their wagon full of socks, gloves, toques and hand warmers.  

“Once (socks) are wet, they’re not really usable for the homeless because they don’t have a way of drying it off,” said Karpayk. 

She is collecting donations until Nov. 22 and then plans to make chili and distribute the donations with her mother.

Karpayk says she remembers going to the bottle depot with her mother and bringing cookies to share with some of the homeless people outside. 

“As I’ve been growing older, I just continue doing it, collecting more than just cookies,” she said.

Since Karpayk was about six, she began saving her money in a piggy bank with a note on it reading “This money is not for me. It’s for other people.”

Her mother says that at the end of every year, her daughter would take the money including that saved from donors such as the tooth fairy and buy items for the less fortunate.

“I’m definitely very proud of her,” said Karpayk’s mother. 

“She has always had such a heart for people. 

“She goes above and beyond for sure; I don’t know any other kids that save all their own money all year to buy stuff for people they don’t know.”

This year, Karpayk asked her mother to post on social media, and the donations of clothing items have begun, along with some monetary gifts. 

Local businesses are also supporting her initiative. Tenacious Detail has a box set up to collect donations and Edward’s Factory Outlet is offering her a discount to buy warm clothing to distribute to those in need. 

In previous years, Karpayk says she collected bottles and used the money to buy warm clothing to give away. 

This year, she collected donations while trick-or-treating and with her mother’s social media post, the donations have filled her wagon. 

Her mother said Karpayk enjoys handing out the items herself, as she gets to talk to each person who receives them and give out needed hugs.

If you are interested in donating, donations can be dropped off at Tenacious Detailing (101-11308 100 St.) in Grande Prairie or by texting 780-978-0366 to arrange a pickup.

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Nov 16, 2023 at 09:04

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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