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New Lakeland organization hopes to support children

Two local women have started
Luvpak1
A variety of items are being collected to create LuvPaks for children in the Lakeland region. / Photo courtesy LuvPak

LAKELAND - An initiative that began in the Grande Prairie area in 2017 has come to the Lakeland, and is aiming to offer comfort to children entering foster care, coming from tumultuous home situations, or those who are affected by overwhelming poverty.

The program, known as LuvPak, includes backpacks filled with hand-picked belongings that have been chosen to meet the psychological and emotional needs of children, along with bringing a sense of worth during a traumatic time.

Jenna and Sarah - who have both requested to have their last name's withheld due to the work they do - have joined forces in the Elk Point area, and are aiming to create 60 LuvPaks this year.

"We immensely see the need for LuvPaks through our personal and professional experiences working with children and families in our communities," according to information from My LuvPak Elk Point.

Sarah and Jenna both have experience working with children and youth coming from difficult backgrounds. They have seen firsthand the trauma some children endure. As part of the organization's mandate, the pair believes in breathing hope back into children, both emotionally and in a material way by providing a LuvPak filled with items that have been chosen to support and comfort them.

LuvPaks are split into three age categories - zero to four years old; five to 10 years old; and 11 to 17 years old - to ensure appropriate items are reaching children.

Some items included in the Luv Paks are fuzzy blankets, age specific toiletries, stuffed animals, mini flashlights with batteries, arts and crafts supplies, journals, drawing pads, colouring books, sensory toys, and reusable water bottles. All items are in new condition.

In order to create the LuvPaks, organizers are looking to the community for support.

They are accepting any and all donations to help support their efforts. And while the goal is to create 60 LuvPaks this year, the initiative will continue for as long as it is needed.

Donations can be made in the form of specific items that are required, or gift cards and monetary donations to help purchase the needed items.

For a list of items included in a LuvPak, visit https://www.myluvpak.org/items-to-donate



Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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