Trying to fill 50 Christmas stockings for less fortunate kids is a daunting endeavour, more so when you’ve only just turned 11.
Fortunately, Bailey Dubé has never met a challenge she’s shied away from.
“Our family motto is ‘never give up,’” said Dubé, a Grade 6 student at Journey Middle School in Sooke. “I wanted to help kids at Christmas and decided this is what I wanted to do. It’s a challenge, but we’re doing our best to get there.”
“It started when I pulled out a couple of stockings in perfect condition out of our Christmas decorations,” explained Darlene Goodwin, the grandmother Bailey lovingly refers to as mom who has raised Bailey and four siblings since Bailey was an infant. “Bailey has snowballed that idea into what it’s become.”
Although Bailey’s on her way to to achieving her goal, she would appreciate a few helping hands. Using some of her own money, she’s purchased some items on shopping trips with Goodwin for more stockings and children’s wish list items. She also received some money from some aunts and cousins and people have made some donations as well. “We’re up to 30 stockings, but still need more gifts to fill them,” Goodwin noted. “We need items for toddlers all the way to teenagers.”
The plan is to get all the stockings stuffed by Dec. 14, in time for the annual Christmas party hosted by Extreme Outreach Society, a Victoria-based ministry committed to improving the lives of children and families in need and the prevention of homelessness.
Goodwin has been impressed with the work Extreme Outreach does throughout the community from Sidney to Sooke, including the coffee shop the non-profit runs at #102-284 Helmcken Rd. that assists people through a jobs training program.
“I know the founders, Cliff Powers and his wife, Angela. They have been helping homeless people for many years,” Goodwin said. “They want to make a difference for families and kids facing challenges so they don’t wind up on the street.”
Extreme Outreach also hosts barbecue outreach events at a low-cost housing complex in Victoria, and sponsors a Saturday SuperKids program and a summer camp for children. The organization also sponsors the Warm a Soul Campaign that creates Christmas stockings for children and an annual Christmas dinner.
“They’re really nice people,” Bailey added enthusiastically. “They had me laughing a lot at the Christmas party last year. Helping them out makes my heart feel great times a hundred.” When she’s not working on her project, Bailey enjoys gymnastics, baking, riding her bicycle and playing with the family cats.
You can drop off cash or children’s presents for Bailey’s Christmas Project at #102-284 Helmcken Rd. at the corner of Island Highway, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or at extremeoutreach.com.