[Images courtesy TD Bank]

Durham Hero: Angie’s Journey of Compassion

Covid-19 has left some members of our communities more vulnerable than others – including those experiencing housing insecurity. And, when times are tough, people like Angie Papas, founder of Kids on Wheels, step up to support at-risk individuals in Durham during these difficult times.

When schools shut down in March, Angie temporarily lost her business, while her loans, mortgage and other expenses continued to demand attention. Despite her own worries, Angie – after last winter’s interaction with the homeless through her church – continued to feel the need to help and quickly repurposed her fleet of vehicles for those in need. With the assistance of her financial advisor and a contract from Durham Region, Angie began providing transport to the homeless so they could access critical services, such as doctor’s appointments.

Although Angie has since reopened her business to children for the September school year, she continues to service those experiencing homelessness and has big plans for the future. Recognizing that not all people feel comfortable living in shelters, Angie is starting ‘The Compassion Bus’ – a non-profit which will distribute essential supplies to Durham’s homeless population heading into winter.

“There is a lot of need out there…people have compassion, but it is not about only compassion. What really helps is for you to listen to their stories – and they are amazing. Some people are just down and out of luck – not all are drug addicts. They just need an ear to hear,” Angie explained to Durham Post.

She said the Compassion Bus is a mobile shelter project for next year aimed at struggling single parents, seniors, those who are hurting. “Our long term project is to build a permanent shelter.”

If you wish to help Angie, she can be contacted at info@kidsonwheels.ca.

Journey of Compassion

Angie’s journey of compassion started with her church’s warming centre for the homeless. Encouraged, Angie put her buses to use during summer to transport homeless to Camp Samac, and from there to their appointments and back.

Angie says her efforts would not have been possible without the help from TD Bank. During the school closure, the bank extended her line of credit, deferred payments on her mortgage and the bus loans and even gave her a grant to get her back on track.

To thank Angie for these selfless actions, TD Bank’s #TDThanksYou campaign recently surprised her with the money to cover her monthly mortgage payment so she can continue focusing on creating a brighter future for her community.

The #TDThanksYou campaign is aimed at thanking and rewarding customers who are making an impact in their communities. This year’s focus is on those dedicated and selfless Canadians who have been working tirelessly to help their communities through Covid-19. Selfless Canadians like Angie.

Note: If you know of anyone who is an unsung hero in your community, please nominate them for our Durham Hero series. Write to us at editor@durhampost.ca

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