Photo by ItkasanImages

There’s a feeling of warmth when giving or receiving a gift, and that emotion is even stronger when you know the person on the other end.

That’s why this year, Victoria’s Cool Aid Society and Homeless Partners are letting gift donors connect with gift recipients this holiday season.

Homeless Partners is a charitable organization that lets visitors browse real, personal stories of people in need in Victoria.

Interested donors can then choose a homeless person to support, and find gifts that their selected recipient has requested alongside their personal stories.

“There’s something powerfully bonding about sitting together, and listening to someone else’s story, that promotes trust, empathy and compassion,” said volunteer administrator Michelle Latour, who is coordinating the project in a release.

“The Homeless Partners web site provides a safe way for the community to use their desire to help those in trouble in a very personal way. The process supports understanding and respect and a more compassionate community that cares about people who are homeless.”

Adults staying at Rock Bay Landing in Burnside Gorge, Sandy Merriman House for women downtown, and Next Steps transitional shelter in North Park will all benefit from the holiday gifts this season.

Donations can be made and stories can be found here.