A former Smithers athlete was the impetus behind a program that helped more than 40 homeless people in Kamloops over the holiday season.
Robin Price, now a fourth year nursing student and soccer player at Thompson Rivers University TRU said she was ispired by the support she and her team has received from the community.
“The community of Kamloops has supported our varsity team for the last four years by coming out to our games and showing up for fundraisers,” she said. “So, a couple of my roommates and I are graduating and we saw there’s been an increase in the amount of homeless people in Kamloops and it was pretty cold out and we thought it was a great time for us to give back to the community before we left Kamloops.”
They sent out and email and their team along with the women’s volleyball team and men’s soccer team stepped up to help and donated enough money to buy supplies such as fresh fruit, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mittens, tuques and socks among other sundry necessities.
On Dec. 9, she, her two roommates from the volleyball team and two men’s soccer players headed out with women’s soccer head coach Mark Pennington headed out to distribute the bags.
“It was amazing how appreciative people were and how easy it was to hand them all out,” she said. “In a quick hour, we just walked down the Main Street and gave out about 45 bags.”
Currently Price is on Vancouver Island doing her final practicum at the emergency department in Courtenay.
“It’s been huge change, but it’s been really good, the nurses have been really welcoming so that’s been great,” she said. “School has been pretty overwhelming, getting thrown in, but it will be good when I feel comfortable working in the ER.”
She said working in a hospital in the time of COVID-19 has been slightly “nerve-racking” but not “insane.”
“I feel pretty comfortable, we have such great protocols and PPE that we wear, so I trust that I know how to protect myself and my co-workers, so I do feel pretty safe,” she said.
As for post-graduation plans, Price is not sure where she will end up. She likes Courtenay and would also consider a move back to the Okanagan, but Smithers is also definitely in the mix, she said.
“I really enjoy Smithers and I actually did a little stint of work up there this summer and I really enjoyed the people at the hospital, so probably eventually.”