Christmas Eve is exactly two weeks away. With the holiday right around the corner there are still lots of ways to get involved with helping those in need.
The Salvation Army’s Neil Wilkinson says along with the annual kettle campaign there are other ways to give back.
“We’re ramping up and getting ready for the big hamper distribution days coming up. We’re looking to support somewhere in the range of about 500 families this year both through the hamper program and through the adopt a family program.”
The Salvation Army is responsible for a third of the hampers that are given out in the city. Along with the Prince George Council of Seniors, St. Vincent De Paul Society, the Prince George Native Friendship Centre, and other church organizations, roughly 1500 hampers are given out.
Wilkinson says along with hamper donations, toys are also welcome to make sure kids feel the magic of Santa on Christmas morning.
“Toys are a wonderful way to support the kids of our community. It’s always a big thing to see the smiles that happen on the parents faces as they come in shopping for the kids for Christmas. Otherwise the kids would go without a stocking or a toy on Christmas morning.”
Paul Williams visited the the Salvation Army this morning with his uncle and cousin who were registering for a Christmas hamper. He is grateful for the way the community comes together at this time of year.
“Families are struggling to get by to pay rent and get food on the table and clothing for kids. And this is the only place they can turn to or any other resources in town. It’s the holidays of course and every young kid deserves something good in their life. We only get one life so why not make it beautiful and wonderful and great.”
None of the Christmas giving would be possible without the hardworking staff and volunteers. Terra Laflamme runs the Salvation Army’s Christmas Hamper program. She feels just as appreciative as the people walking through the front door.
“We get to help people. We get to be on the front lines an hear peoples stories and touched by the stories that come in and then I get to say yay now we can help you and make sure you have a good Christmas.”
With so many ways to get involved, Prince George is well on it’s way to making it a memorable season of giving.