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Armstrong holiday hamper campaign in need of donations

Last year, the communty cares campaign helped close to 400 seniors, adults and children
Last year, the Armstrong Spallumcheen community cares holiday hamper campaign helped feed close to 400 individuals. The program is looking for more donations in 2023. (Armstrong Spallumcheen Community Cares Facebook)

The annual Community Cares Holiday Hamper campaign in Armstrong Spallumcheen is in full swing, but needs more donations.

The main focus this holiday season is on providing much needed food and toiletries. As food prices and living expenses soar, more seniors and families are faced with making tough choices between eating and keeping a roof over their heads.

Evidence is in the growth quickly from 42 hampers and 115 Secret Santa Stockings in 2020 to 87 hampers and 204 Secret Santa Stockings in 2021 to 115 hampers and 383 Secret Santa Stockings in 2022. In 2022 the Holiday Hamper Campaign helped 255 local seniors, 66 adults and 62 kids/teens.

The campaign began in 2020 during the initial stages of COVID when a group of concerned citizens were inspired to assemble and distribute Christmas hampers to local seniors - 42 were delivered.

Secret Santa stockings are also distributed throughout the community to local seniors care homes, residences, and Interior Health clients. These secret Santa stockings are the only gift many seniors receive at Christmas time. The first year, 115 stockings were given out.

From it grew the food corner at the Gathering Grounds Thrift Store, where local seniors and families have access to non-perishable food items and toiletries six days a week.

The campaign has grown to distributing 87 hampers and 204 stockings in 2021. Last year saw 115 hampers and 383 stockings delivered, helping 255 local seniors, 66 adults and 62 kids/teens. Six of the hampers were delivered to people living in their vehicles or in tents.

Many local business, school children and residents have participated in the campaign, by collecting donations, assembling candy bags, filling stockings, sorting food and other tasks.

“We could not have helped as many seniors and families without the support from our amazing community and volunteers,” said organizer Brenda Firth. “The holiday hamper campaign is a true community project.”

Holiday hampers are only available in December and include non-perishable and perishable foods (including meat, produce and eggs), toiletries and gifts.

Donations of non-perishable food items, toiletries, gift cards and cash can be dropped off at Gathering Grounds Thrift Store. All cash donations will be used to purchase food for the hampers and tax receipts for donations over $20 are available upon request.

Donations (including e-transfers) can also be made direct to Glad Tidings Church, who Community Cares is partnering with this year. Contact Jeannette Waight for more information at 250-306-8790. Email if interested in volunteering or sponsoring a family or senior.

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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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