Posted: Dec 25, 2012 10:54 AM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News
MISSOULA - The woman who started the idea of collecting donations in backpacks to give to Missoula's homeless says she's overwhelmed by the response to her idea.
Colleen Kline launched her "Backpacks for the Homeless" drive last Christmas, wanting to find a way to spread some Christmas spirit among the large number of transients on downtown streets.
That first drive saw her distribute a dozen backpacks, and this year Kline hoped to increase that number to 50. However, word spread across town and through social media, and when Kline gathered to distribute the backpacks last week, she was joined by a small group of volunteers who hand out more than 135 packs, in addition to more coats, gloves and even Christmas cookies.
"And tonight I have over 100 in my car to hand out here," she said. "I'm in shock tonight. This is overwhelming. I'm just in shock with all the stuff people have brought down here."
Many of the donations for the Backpacks for the Homeless drive came in the last three weeks as people heard about the effort through Kline's Facebook account.