This year, to get into the holiday spirit, Power To Be staff put a new spin on “Giving Tuesday” and participated in our very own “Give Back Tuesday”, which was a chance to partner with local non-profits and provide volunteer support.


In Vancouver, our team partnered up with our friends from Backpack Buddies, who support children across BC who face food insecurity. While school breakfast and lunch programs can support throughout the week, there can be a weekend hunger gap – that’s where Backpack Buddies steps in. They provide meals to families who need them to ensure no child goes hungry. For the first time in over a year and a half, our Vancouver staff team came together to spend the day volunteering with this amazing non-profit and packed over 600 bags of groceries! Learn more about Backpack Buddies and the incredible work they do.

On the Victoria side, our staff team partnered with Soap For Hope Canada. Since 2015, Soap For Hope has been growing to meet the need in Victoria and beyond for accessible hygiene products. Now also based out of Calgary, this non-profit organization partners with hotel chains and other local suppliers to repurpose soaps and other hygiene products that would otherwise end up in the landfill. The soap recycling program is carried out with diligence and care, run by a dedicated group of staff and volunteers. The bridge connects to partner organizations such as food banks and shelters, where the hygiene products can then be distributed and shared.


After a day spend with Soap for Hope, I can tell you, there is nothing more satisfying than re-filling a shampoo bottle with a syringe. Power To Be staff gathered around tables in a large warehouse to support Soap For Hope’s recycling program and get our hands dirty (only figuratively, of course). For me, it was eye-opening to see the process of this mission carried out; big black containers arrive at the warehouse filled to the brim with mini shampoo, conditioner, and soap bars from hotels, and are sorted into different categories. Each product is handled with care as they are washed and handed to the volunteers to repurpose; my co-worker and I spent our shift at the syringe station, filling the shampoos and conditioners back up to the very top. The rest of the Power To Be crew sat at the soap station, where they prepared the mini soap bars for distribution. What is left is table after table of hygiene products, providing an essential service to community members and marginalized populations that need them most.


While their impact is beyond impressive, Soap For Hope also radiates care for the behind-the-scenes work and the folks that get it all done. During our volunteer shift, the staff and experienced volunteers made us newbies feel welcome by checking in with us, providing us with yummy snacks and a warm meal, and making an effort to get to know who we are with warmth and friendliness. If you want to learn more about Soap For Hope and the amazing work that they do, check out their website by clicking here.


We are so grateful and inspired by all of the like-minded organizations in our community, working hard to support each other and create new opportunities. Our give-back day gave us the chance to connect and bond as a team, and lend a helping hand during a time of year when people need it most, we are already looking forward to next year!


This blog was written by Cara Baudin, the Volunteer Services Administrator at Power To Be! Cara has been gaining work experience with us as a co-op student from the University of Victoria. She grew up in the Cowichan Valley spending countless hours in nature kayaking, hiking, and camping.