Yellowknife teen makes more than 200 care packages for day shelter

Yellowknife's downtown day shelter and sobering centre is pictured on the morning of April 15, 2019
Yellowknife's downtown day shelter and sobering centre is pictured on the morning of April 15, 2019. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

A Grade 9 student in Yellowknife is helping the city’s homeless population by making more than 200 care packages for people at the downtown day shelter and sobering centre.

Kailynn Brownlee told Cabin Radio she had put together around 210 of the packages. They include snacks, socks, tissues, toothbrushes and toothpaste, among other items.

“I really like helping people,” she said. “Just giving them a smile or making their day better.



Johnelle Joseph, manager of the day shelter and sobering centre, said the packages were delivered earlier this week.

A photo shared by Kailynn Brownlee shows the prepared care packages.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “Some of the staff were tearing up and the clients were very appreciative of it.

“They were surprised just like the staff were. They received it with smiles, of course, and joy. They were very happy.” 



Joseph said Brownlee’s actions “show some social awareness among the young people, and I hope that this continues.”

Brownlee said she came up with the idea after attending an August retreat held by northern mental and sexual health charity Foxy (Fostering Open eXpression among Youth).

As part of the program for young women and gender-diverse youth, peer leaders get school credit for completing community projects.

She said her mom was “a big help.”

Last week, Brownlee posted to Facebook asking for donations of recyclables so she could raise funds to purchase care package items.

Responses came flooding in.

“I had my whole messenger filled with people trying to message me about it,” she said.

“It was really overwhelming, how many people were talking to me. We had three truckloads of recyclables to bring in.”