Backpacks for homeless

Resident physicians working in the Red Deer area will be donating more than 10 backpacks filled with supplies for the homeless to Central Alberta’s Safe Harbour Society for Health and Housing.

Resident physicians working in the Red Deer area will be donating more than 10 backpacks filled with supplies for the homeless to Central Alberta’s Safe Harbour Society for Health and Housing.

It’s the first year that local residents have been involved in the PARAdime Give Your Backpack Back Event, sponsored by Professional Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta.

Resident physicians want to provide a helping hand to vulnerable populations, given the link between poverty and increased use of the health-care system.

“We were really excited to participate.

“It’s great to be involved with such a great cause and connect with the community,” said local resident physician Allison Sweeney on Tuesday.

There are about 20 first- and second-year rural family resident physicians working in Central and Northern Alberta.

Sweeney said resident physicians also challenged staff physicians, who were very generous.

She said Safe Harbour Society is the perfect organization to distribute the backpacks, which will be dropped off on Friday.

It’s PARA’s second annual backpack drive and more than 140 backpacks are expected to be distributed throughout Alberta this week to coincide with National Resident Physician Awareness Day on Tuesday.

Residents collected items from October to January.

Backpacks will be filled with non-perishable food, clothes, hygiene supplies like toothpaste and soap. About $500 was also collected.