Hamm says she started the organization about four and a half years ago, for various reasons. One of those reasons included adopting her son about six years ago.
“He (his son) was just over two years old at the time, and he had had traumas in his past, and that really got me on a learning journey about trauma and brain development and how trauma affects brain development and how trauma affects children, “she said.
This initially sparked the idea of helping children going through difficult times, alongside the support of her friend Ruth who became a foster parent at the time, created a welcome basket for her first foster child. , which initially sparked the idea of filled backpacks.
“Just the thought and care that went into it (the basket) and the joy it brought to the little girl because often when children are placed in foster care their things are thrown in a bag. trash and often they are moved late at night, so what little they have gets thrown into a trash bag, ”she explained.
“In combination with my son’s past and the situations going on around me, I just thought this was something I would like to start in the Grande Prairie area.”
Hamm tells EverythingGP that she is working with Family Services in Grande Prairie and the surrounding community to help provide backpacks to young children in northern Alberta, including youth assessment centers in Lac La Biche. and High Prairie.
“(These youth assessment centers) are basically shelters with children who have nowhere to go or who have higher behavioral needs,” she said.
“It’s a little more clinical or institutional, so being able to give these children a LuvPak upon arrival that belongs to them and which is a bag full of comforting items for them is our goal. ”
Hamm says they donate about 400 backpacks a year to youth in the Grande Prairie area who face difficult situations.
“This year will be a little higher just because of last year with COVID and things being closed I think the need is a little higher, in the last four years we have probably given a little more 1,200 LuvPaks. I know that I am not in a position to care for children who find themselves in these situations, but I wanted to be able to bring joy, hope and comfort to their lives.
Residents can donate and help in a number of ways including donating backpacks, cash, or any MyLuvPak clothing purchase, allowing 100% of the profits collected to go towards manufacturing of those backpacks.