May 19, 2022

Woodstock woman Celina Myers is aiming to stuff her hearse with 50 backpacks filled with supplies for homeless people in the area, and then do it again as many times as she can.

“Please help me fill the back of my hearse with love! Hearses may be used in the funeral industry but let us re purpose mine and make it a shuttle to help those going through a hard time,” she said in a recent Facebook post.

She chose to use one of her two hearses because the amount of space in the back could hold a lot of donations.  After using her hearse to help people move things, she realized that this space could be utilized to gather donations to be distributed to those in need.

Myers created a group on Facebook called The Order of Benevolent Hearts – Woodstock. It is an exclusive group of people who want to make a difference helping to get the word out to a larger audience by sharing, donating and distributing flyers promoting the initiative.

Myers estimates there are currently more than 30 homeless people in Woodstock.  In an article from 2015 on Heart FM, co-founder of the P.S Cycles of Life for Supportive Transitional Living, Mary Jane Phillips, said the “homeless are generally considered invisible anyways but the County itself has estimated 101 homeless people in Oxford, In Out of the Cold last year I believe they averaged 6 people a night.”

Myers will be distributing donated items personally to homeless people in Woodstock and has set up a fundraising page on Facebook to get donated funds to stuff more backpacks as well as for Tim Horton’s gift cards and to pay for gas for the hearse while on deliveries.

She also said, depending on the amount of donations, “If it can stretch outside of Woodstock that would be amazing. But Woodstock is our first focus.”

Myers, and her hearse, will be located at the Great Canadian Dollar Store in Woodstock, Ont., from Monday to Wednesday, 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. 

Look for the hearse.

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