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Christmas Hamper Society helps hundreds of struggling people afford Christmas gifts

A single mother in Maple Ridge is among those who used the Dec. 10 Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe

The second day of Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe saw dozens of struggling families come through the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society’s gift barn to select amongst some gently used donated items.

RELATED: Christmas hamper receives hundreds of new toys after WCE Santa Train rolls through Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

One of the people utilizing the Christmas hamper’s program is Laura Stark, a single mother of a nine-year-old and five-year-old.

“You’re working to pay for everything else, and then you somehow have to come up with the money to afford Christmas,” said Stark as she explained the struggle that she and a lot of other families go through during the holidays.

READ MORE: Hundreds have registered for help with the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society

“When I come here, I find things that I know I can give to other people too, and it kind of makes Christmas a little bit easier.”

Stark is no stranger to these types of programs, having participated in the Good Neighbour Program in previous years.

“In the past, my outreach worker or my counsellor for my children have signed me up for other programs, so I’ve never actually come and done this experience before. It’s kind of cool, and convenient too because I’m really close to it.”

While the actual gifts she picked out remain a secret until the holidays, Stark explained that just being able to have access to this wide selection was a massive help to her and the other families at the event.

“Even if they can’t afford anything for Christmas, at least they feel like they can still get stuff for their kids and get stuff for other families,” she said.

“It takes the stress out of Christmas.”

The deadline to register is Wednesday, Dec. 14, with the final Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe taking place on Dec. 17, along with the Kid’s Only Shoppe that allows children to shop for items to give their parents.

READ MORE: Busy year for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society

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Brandon Tucker

About the Author: Brandon Tucker

I have been a journalist since 2013, with much of my career spent covering sports and entertainment stories in Alberta.
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