‘Tis the season for Christmas hampers at St. Vincent de Paul
CHRISTINE DALGLEISH Citizen staff
St. Vincent de Paul Society is offering families with children under 19 years old residing at home the opportunity to get a Christmas hamper. Because of the pandemic, applications are only accepted by phone. Call the number on the dates listed below: Thursday Nov. 26 and Dec. 2 from 9:30 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m. call 250-640-9189. Friday, Nov. 27 and Dec. 4 call 9:20 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. call 250-640-9183. Care cards for all family members are required at the time of the phone application. All applications will be cross referenced with other agencies to ensure that as many families as possible will be assisted. All hampers will be delivered following COVID-19 protocols on Tuesday, Dec. 21. The other part of the equation for Christmas hamper success is for community members to donate to this very worthy cause. Non-perishable food items and Christmas gifts, along with monetary donations are most welcome. “We are always looking for toys and that’s a big one for the children,” Bernie Goold of the St. Vincent De Paul Society said. “It doesn’t have to be something huge just something we can include that brightens a child’s Christmas.” As for suggestions, just get something that you would buy your own children or grandchildren – nothing big, just a puzzle, toy or game to bring a smile. And that goes for the teens and parents in the family in need as well. Some nice soaps perhaps for the mom, Goold suggested. And food is always a big need, too. “Contrary to some people’s beliefs the donations that come in at Christmas don’t get all used up at Christmas but coasts us into the new year,” Goold said. “Right after Christmas in January and February we do a lot of hampers because like everyone else people have overspent or over indulged a little extra at Christmas and so January and February are big months for hampers and food and what we get at Christmas gets us through those lean times.” St. Vincent de Paul Society is looking for non perishables that a person would put in their own cart at the grocery store. Goold said. Don’t forget the pasta sauce to go with the dry pasta to make the dish complete. Canned fruits, vegetables, soups and canned fish, litre-size tetra packs of juice are all good examples of what goes over well, Goold said. “When we give out a hamper it’s about a week to 10 days worth of groceries,” Goold explained. “Monetary donations are also a great help and we appreciate the community’s continued support.” The Prince George Council of Seniors is hosting its annual Christmas Hamper Project. Application deadline is Friday, Dec. 3. New applicants much go to the Seniors Resource Centre in person to apply, bring photo ID, proof of residence such as a utility bill or bank statement and documentation proving income. Applicants must be 65 years or older and in receipt of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS). Donations for hampers will be accepted until Wednesday, Dec. 15. Because of the pandemic donations look a little different this year as cash or grocery store gift cards (preferably Save-On-Foods) will be accepted and no groceries or gifts will be accepted. Donations may be mailed to the Seniors Resource Centre, 721 Victoria Street, V2L 2K5 or dropped off Monday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Charitable tax receipts will be available for cash donations as well as gift card donations with receipts. Last year more than 230 hampers were provide to seniors in need and the same is expected this year. This annual project is 100 per cent dependent on community donations. The PGCOS thanks every volunteer and donor in advance.