It’s a reunion of sorts for a group of Calgarians or “Spud Buds” as they like to call themselves.

For the past few weeks these “Spud Buds” have been hard at work collecting, sorting and loading hundreds of back packs to be handed out to the clients at the Drop-In Centre this weekend.

“It’s just about giving back and just giving of ourselves, because we have so much more than some people.” says volunteer Dana-Marie Toscano.

The group, headed by husband and wife team, Kelly and Dixie-Rae Kask is loading the holiday-infused back packs with items like toiletries, socks, sweaters, handmade toques, mandarin oranges and cookies.

The backpacks will be handed out by Santa and his elves. It’s an effort that began five years ago with a sack of potatoes and the Spud Buds motto, “People feeding people. People clothing people. People loving people”.

Every first Saturday of the month the Spud Buds volunteers gather out in the parking lot of the Salvation Army and the Drop-In Centre and hand out new or used clothing that’s been collected. They also give out fully loaded baked potatoes, coffee, hot chocolate and other treats.

“Everybody loves a baked potato. I mean when people walk by, we just ask, hey do you want real butter? Do you want real sour cream? We got it!” Kelly Kask explains.

It’s an effort by a husband and wife team that easily sprouted through word-of-mouth marketing and the desire to help others.

“The kids can come, cousins and friends. And everyone gets to know what it is like to be out there.” says Spud Buds volunteer Michelle Lombardo.