Instead of packing camping gear for a summer weekend away, around 50 B.C. MCC supporters packed relief and hygiene kits to ship overseas.
At MCC B.C.’s first ever Kit and Caboodle event on July 26, families came from around the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver to take part in a scavenger hunt to find relief and hygiene kit items, pack them into bags or buckets and eat food together.
Irene Ens brought her grandchildren, Sierra and Sawyer, to show them more about the work MCC does.
“Our grandkids are here from Alberta for a visit. We donate to MCC in their name every Christmas and it’s hard to explain why we give to others and not them. This is a concrete way to show why we give gifts to MCC,” she explains.
Edward Shigali works for MCC B.C. as a refugee resettlement program assistant and decided to bring his daughters, Amani and Raheli, to pack kits as a kind of an education tool.
“We have to find things to do with the kids otherwise they stay inside and watch TV all day,” he laughs. “They have questions about where all the stuff is going and it’s a good conversation starter. I like for them to be engaged about the world.”
Eleven-year-old Amani adds: “I like that you get to help people in other countries who aren’t as fortunate as us.”
Linda Dyck came with her two sisters, three nieces and a nephew because they love MCC and participate in as many activities as they can together.
“We’ve grown up with MCC. Our mom’s family was supported to come to Canada through MCC. We explain all this to them, what MCC does and why we need to do it, but there’s something different about actually doing it yourself,” she says.
MCC B.C.’s material resources coordinator, Dennis Vogt says these kits are in high demand and will go to people in need all over the world including Ukraine, Ethiopia and Syria.
Together the participating adults and children packed 13 relief kits and 34 hygiene kits.
“This is a practical way for families to engage with the message of MCC,” Vogt says.
He adds: “Parents and grandparents can show their kids why social justice and helping others is important in a practical way.”