East Maple Ridge neighbourhood gets Christmas spirit

Many of the kids in the 237th Street neighbourhood of east Maple Ridge will take part in the bottle drive, Dec. 16.   - Neil Corbett/THE NEWS
Many of the kids in the 237th Street neighbourhood of east Maple Ridge will take part in the bottle drive, Dec. 16.
— image credit: Neil Corbett/THE NEWS

A single mom will have Christmas gifts for her six children and turkey dinner for the family on Dec. 25, thanks to the efforts of a group of kids in east Maple Ridge.

Stacey Mostrenko’s children are among  the many kids of that neighbourhood, in the area of 237th Street, who run a bottle drive each year to help a family. They go door to door, and for each of the past two years they have gathered some $1,200.

With the charity work gaining momentum with each year, Mostrenko told the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Good Neighbour Program that this year they wanted to help the biggest family they could find.

The kids carry a lot of the freight – they collect bottles door-to-door, sort the bottles and cans into bags, help pick out Christmas presents for the sponsored family, then wrap the gifts for delivery.

Mostrenko said the idea for the fundraiser came from an across-the-fences conversation about Christmas giving.

“We were all talking about how our kids get everything for Christmas,” she said.

These parents wanted to do something to make kids better appreciate their Lego sets, RC cars and iPods; to realize that some kids aren’t so fortunate, and that they can help make a difference.

This year the bottle drive will be held on Dec. 16. The neighbourhood will come together for the event, serve hot chocolate and hot dogs, and keep it fun.

Their presents will be delivered to the sponsored family on Dec. 23.

“We wanted to issue a challenge to other neighbourhoods to do the same,” said Mostrenko. “It’s a great way to meet your neighbours, and teach your children the true meaning of Christmas.”

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