For the homeless, holidays are hard. But a heartfelt concept that’s been running for the past decade is helping make their Christmas a little brighter in Calgary.
The Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society profiles homeless clients on their website in hopes of matching them with a generous donor. There are dozens of wishes left to fill on the Calgary Christmas WishList.
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Tracy Korobanik, 47, has been living at the DI for four years. He spends his days volunteering in the shelter’s laundry room. He spends 12 hours a day there, seven days a week.
“I like to give back to the DI. They house me, feed me, clothe me.”
He says he’s grateful for the little he does have, because it’s not the material things that bring him comfort through his struggles.
“Down in laundry, it’s quiet–a safe haven,” Korobanik said. “It’s like a family. It’s like going home.”
His wish? A USB stick that allows him to save a cherished comfort in the chaos.
“I put on the headphones and I escape, watch a movie.”
The executive director of the DI said she’s humbled hearing what little so many of the clients have asked for.
“To ask for something non-monetary–that every homeless person be safe or that everyone be cared for,” Debbie Newman said. “It goes beyond what we normally think about.”
“There’s the gifts that nobody would ask for, right?”
But it’s what those gifts represent that’s invaluable.
Korobanik feels that knowing someone cared enough to wrap a present just for him to open Christmas morning is special.
“It makes me feel like a kid again. Everyone should get one gift at Christmas.”
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