When the decision comes down to buying gifts or being able to pay off the energy bill, Christmas can be a daunting date on the calendar.
The Kinette’s St. Albert Christmas Hamper campaign hopes to give some relief to families struggling with the holiday season.
Each year, the campaign serves around 300 households with Christmas hampers – around 1,700 people in St. Albert. With a similar amount of referrals expected this year, people who donate will make the difference between families having gifts and food to celebrate Christmas, or not.
“It’s the ability to allow a family to breathe for two weeks,” said Julie DeMott, co-chair for the local Christmas Hamper Campaign.
“If people donate a couple of bucks, different canned goods, or a new toy still in the wrapper, we’d love to give it to somebody that could use it.”
Last year, the Kinettes were having trouble finding a home for their donations. Then FreshCo stepped up to offer space attached to the grocery store for the campaign to organize, DeMott said.
“It’s a huge relief, it’s a big stressor that’s been lifted,” she said. “It should definitely make the campaign run a little bit smoother.”
The club is highly recommending gift cards from local grocery stores, Walmart or Costco this year so volunteers can provide a more personalized gift for families, she said.
Gift cards for teenagers are particularly needed this year. Buying them from places like West Edmonton Mall, Walmart, fast food places, or giving Visa gift cards gives teenagers the opportunity to pick something out for themselves, she said.
“Every year we run into the same situation where we don’t have enough gifts for teens,” she said. “We want to make sure everyone’s Christmas is merry, not just the little ones.”
There are multiple ways to donate. Red boxes are already out at several grocery store locations in St. Albert for food and toy donations. Keep an eye out for their annual Fill-A-Bus campaign on Dec. 10 at various grocery stores and the Canadian Tire.
Collection lasts until Dec. 16 with the delivery of hampers to take place on Dec. 17.
Volunteers are needed to help the campaign run smoothly too. Anyone interested in helping can email [email protected].