Nearly 300 locally donated sleeping bags have been sent to Poland, where they are to be handed out to Ukraine refugees escaping the Russian invasion.
This is the first batch of bags collected by Guelph’s Xavier Pitman and crew, who seeks to gather 5,000 in total. Launched earlier this month, the humanitarian initiative is part of the 14-year-old’s efforts to collect community service volunteer hours for a Scouts Canada project.
Many of the new and gently used sleeping bags were donated during a collection drive on March 13 at Gateway Public School.
With only a portion of his goal achieved, Pitman is hosting another drive this Saturday at Kortright Presbyterian Church (55 Devere Dr.) from 1 to 3 p.m.
Donations are also being accepted at Auto Clinic (775 Woodlawn Rd.).
Additional donation drives are set for London, Burlington and Milton.
Pitman’s partner in the project is his opa (grandfather in Dutch) in London who is working with the London Ukrainian Heritage Centre, which is shipping sleeping bags to Poland.
Update on Xaviers #operation5000. The Ukrainian culture centre asked to get the delivery today as they are in real need of sleeping bags so off the family went to London. 1/2#chiefscout #27thGuelph #StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/qtVarMdNMW— Matt (@Pitmanme) March 16, 2022