The deadline to register for the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Hamper Society has been extended.
Anyone needing extra help this year can still register until this Friday, Dec. 4.
So far the society has received 243 registrations. Last year a total of 388 families had signed up to receive help.
Director of the Christmas Hamper Society, Tina Kirkpatrick, said it’s hard to compare numbers to last year because in 2019 they only started registration on Nov. 17, with their final registration date on Dec. 6.
“We have been open for business longer this year and I have seen 30 (registrations) come in the past two days,” said Kirkpatrick.
“We just hope that everyone who needs a little magic this year has applied,” she said.
Registrations have come in slow this year to the Christmas Hamper Society, said Lorraine Bates, chair of the society for the past 23 years, but they are still coming in.
And, when it comes to last years numbers, added Bates, they made the decision early this year not to accept applications from single individuals or couples.
“We had to do that because we didn’t know what we were going into,” said Bates, especially without money from the annual Strip-a-thon or Firefighters For Families, both huge fundraising events for the Christmas Hamper that were cancelled this year.
Nevertheless, said Bates, it’s frustrating for her team because they have so much work to do, especially this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s just because we have to order the gift cards,” added Bates. Every Thursday, those handling the registrations gives Bates a list of what gift cards they need. The order is put in on Friday and Bates picks up the gift cards on Monday.
They don’t want to order too many and have them sit in the office for a year.
However, Bates’ biggest fear that families will fall through the cracks.
In past experience she has had people ask for help the week before Christmas.
“And they were the worst cases because they were people who thought they were going to make it but they couldn’t or something changed in their family life,” she explained.
Currently Kirkpatrick is in the process of purchasing gift cards for distribution starting Tuesday Dec. 8.
The Christmas Hamper Society is still accepting monetary donations through their website and through PayPal.
On Nov. 20 RE/MAX LifeStyles Realty donated $3,500.
And the Thompson Mountain Sportsman Club, a Pit Meadows non-profit started in 1949, donated $2,500.
Tax receipts will be issued in January, said Kirkpatrick.
To make a donation or to register for a hamper go to mrpmchristmashamper.org.
For more information call 604-463-6922.