Bags of Warmth, Hope and Love

by juneli
Categories: Divisional News

By: June Li

For years, Quan Luu wanted to make a difference in his community. With colder temperatures hitting Toronto, he saw many without warm coats or winter accessories such as; hats, sweaters and jackets. After witnessing the number of homeless individuals on the street, he knew that he needed to do something. He understood that for those experiencing homelessness, the Canadian winter can be harsh and have detrimental health effects. That is when Quan had the idea to start ProjectSmile.

“A lot of planning and discussions went into ProjectSmile,” says Quan, “We wanted to do our best to help the community. With winter approaching we decided we would collect used winter clothing for the homeless”. Across the Greater Toronto Area, Quan and his team (Vinh Le, Luca Campacci, Mithila Amin, Nhi Luu, Linda Lan, Minh Nguyen, Bing Li) set up several drop-off locations and after two months, they were able to collect over 40 bags full of winter clothing for men, women and children. “We knew that The Salvation Army would put the clothing to good use so we decided to donate the bags of clothing to The Salvation Army’s Thrift Store in Mississauga,” says Quan.

ProjectSmile only began last year, but Quan saw a lot of interest in those wanting to help. “Through my network and word of mouth, people began to drop off used clothing and the turnout was great,” he says. “The ProjectSmile team would love to continue to give back to the community for years to come.”

The team at ProjectSmile demonstrates that a small idea can turn into a large community initiative. These bags of winter clothing are more than just a warm layer of clothing. Rather, they are a message of hope, love and support.

Inspired to make a difference with The Salvation Army? Visit our website here, to be part of the Army behind ‘Giving Hope Today’.