Erin Schulte with some of the cards donated in 2017, as part of her project to bring Christmas cheer to the homeless. (Now-Leader file photo)

Christmas

Surrey-born ‘Christmas Card Collective’ for homeless explodes in popularity

Thousands of cards donated and now, people sought to fill in the cards with heart-warming words

Erin Schulte said “donations poured in” after she called out to the community to donate Christmas cards in October, as part of her efforts to bring holiday cheer to the homeless for the second year in a row.

It’s an initiative she’s dubbed the “Christmas Card Collective.”

“I needed 3,200, but received over 5,000,” said Schulte, a North Delta resident. “So many amazing people from our local community, and cards literally came in from all over the country.”

She said she’s particularly grateful to Aline Greeting Cards and Minuteman Press, which donated 1,000 and 500 cards, respectively.

Schulte’s concept is simple: Collect Christmas cards, distribute them to people who can fill them with well wishes and heart-warming words, then send them to homeless shelters to place upon pillows during the holidays.

“Ideally, I want one on each bed for three days before Christmas,” she said. “I want them to look forward to them each night.”

As a result of the outpouring of generosity of those donating the cards, Schulte said Surrey Urban Mission and the city’s shelters run by Lookout Housing and Health Society will receive cards in the days leading up to Christmas.

But the cards will be going much, much farther than that, with some destined for homeless shelters in Red Deer, Vernon, Toronto, a Seattle youth shelter, and even all the way to the Los Angeles Mission.

“With the postal strike came the worry of how I would get the cards delivered,” Schulte explained. But VanKam Freightways offered to deliver to shelters in Red Deer and Vernon and the company Schulte works for, Hercules Freight, is delivering the cards to Toronto and Los Angeles shelters.

“I personally will be driving the Seattle ones to the youth shelter,” Schulte added.

See also: Surrey-born project aims to send thousands of Christmas cards to homeless

WATCH: VIDEO: Schulte ‘overwhelmed’ by Christmas cards for Surrey’s homeless

Before the cards make their way to shelters, another big job lies ahead: Schulte needs about 3,500 cards filled with Christmas wishes.

“Classrooms, sports teams, hospital units, Fortis employees, workplaces, Sparks and Girl Guides have all been writing in cards,” she told the Now-Leader, but more are needed.

And time is quickly running out.

“We literally have until around Dec. 17,” said Schulte.

Anyone who wishes get involved can email Schulte at erinlauren@hotmail.com, or find her on Facebook (Erin Schulte).

A Facebook page has also just been created, called “The Christmas Card Collective.”

Schulte, who used to run a Pop-Up Soup Kitchen on 135A Street, said her work along the infamous road motivated her to launch the project last year.

She was “overwhelmed” with the “amazing” outpouring of community support in year one, ultimately collecting and distributing an estimated 1,000 cards in 2017 after initially setting out to collect just 225.

“Seeing so many that didn’t have family to spend Christmas with,” she said, when asked about her inspiration. “They had nothing to look forward to.”

This year, Schulte is taken aback by how the project has exploded in popularity.

“The thing that has made this year so different is where the cards took us,” she said. “The end result is getting these cards on the beds for the three days leading up to Christmas but it has brought so much more. Conversations about compassion and homelessness and the true meaning of Christmas have been happening around so many dinner tables and class rooms. I have been blessed to speak to many groups about giving back and putting a dream into motion and that Christmas is not about making lists. Christmas is not about things we buy.

“Christmas comes from your heart,” Schulte added. “It’s in how you give of yourself to others to make the season that bit brighter.”

Schulte asks others to help her “fill these cards with love.”



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Amy on Twitter

Just Posted

SOCCER: A Surrey coach recalls Alphonso Davies’ rise, days after his first goal for Bayern Munich

Injury may prevent the budding star, 18, from playing for Team Canada in Vancouver on Sunday

Semiahmoo advances to B.C. peewee hockey final against Burnaby Winter Club

Ravens to square off against only team to defeat them during provincial tournament

Surrey RCMP hunt for robbery suspect after woman threatened while using ATM

Police say a man demanded a woman withdraw money from her account while threatening her with a weapon

Tory MPs chant ‘cover up’ during federal budget delivery

Liberal government’s fourth budget delivered in House of Commons Tuesday, but nobody could hear it

Former South Surrey boxer relishing role on Riverdale

Peninsula resident Darcy Hinds has recurring role on popular CW series

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

Most Read