'Beautiful bundle of Christmas spirit': Delta woman delivers cards to homeless
These days, Erin Schulte's kitchen table has transformed to look more like a mail processing facility, and she said she wouldn't have it any other way.
The cards will be going to thousands of homeless men and women in North America to show them that they will not be forgotten this holiday season.
"These are the most words from complete strangers. You don't know if it's someone in kindergarten, an 80-year-old lady...it's just a big beautiful bundle of Christmas spirit and giving," explained Schulte, as she sorted through hundreds of greeting cards.
She calls the initiative the "Christmas Card Collective." It began last year when she asked her family and friends to write Christmas cards for the homeless. They managed to write 800 cards.
This year, she wanted to up the ante and asked people on social media to get involved. She said people in sports clubs, schools and senior centres wanted to take part in the Christmas Card Collective.
The cards will be laid out on pillows in the shelters on the three nights leading up to Christmas.
Mike Musgrove, executive director of the Surrey Urban Mission, said the shelter will be handing out the cards for the first time this year, and he is excited to see their reactions.
"The folks that stay at our shelter can be society's forgotten and so this is like, 'Hey we're thinking of you, we know who you are," said Mike Musgrove with the Surrey Urban Mission.
Schulte said she hasn't received much feedback from recipients, but what little information she's learned she's used it to help propel the project forward.
"To hear that someone had carried a Christmas card around in their cart for a year, waiting for the next one. I think that's pretty cool," she said.
She and her friends also take the time to read each card, seal and ship them to shelters in Ontario, Alberta and B.C. Some of the cards will also be delivered to Seattle and Los Angeles.
People who are interested in writing some cards are asked to send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Emad Agahi