As the month of November slides into December and twinkling lights go up around the town, we realize that Christmas is on our doorstep. Only 26 shopping days until the big day!
Thoughts turn to family reunions, and the mouth-watering Christmas dinner many of us revel in.
For some people, though, it’s a time of year when those things are out of their grasp and financial difficulties can be felt the hardest. That’s where Lake Cowichan Community Services’ Christmas Hamper program comes in.
“We cover all the communities around the lake,” said program co-ordinator Angie Fournier. “Last year we served about 225 families, and I don’t anticipate it being any less this year.”
As usual, LCCS counts on donations from the community to help fill these hampers. But this year, with only a month to go, Fournier says they are down in their cash donations.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that we have to purchase all the perishable items that go into the hampers,” she explained. “Usually we’re looking at about a $10,000 bill by the time we’re done.”
Fournier says they get help filling the hampers every year with new or unwrapped toys thanks to the fire department’s Toy Drive, for which she is grateful. As well, there are “Angel Trees” at various locations around town which serve to give a donor the option of buying an item or toy for a girl or boy of a specific age.
In all, Fournier says, about 50 elves from around the community come out to help pack the hampers the day before they are to be delivered, this year on December 19.