The Christmas Hamper Society needs your help. You wouldn’t have any used clothes, blankets or toys, still in good shape, would you?
Is it possible to take them down to the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society on the Albion fairgrounds near Planet Ice?
The society could really use them as it gets ready for Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe, which runs on Saturday, Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and 19.
The shop has been operating for 14 years and offers hamper society recipients a free shopping spree on those dates.
“The gift shoppe is now ready to accept your donations. Our energetic and eager volunteers are chomping at the bit and all we need is the residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to downsize their cupboards and closets and to come on down and help to make a great Christmas for financially disadvantaged families in your hometown,” said Lorraine Bates, of the hamper society.
Last year, 546 registered families appreciated the chance to pick up the basics for themselves and their children.
“Some families were waiting in line for three hours before the doors were opened to them,” Bates said.
Donations are needed soon and can be brought to the Christmas hamper society office on the Albion fairgrounds any day from now until Dec. 20, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
In addition to adult and children’s clothing, blankets and toys and household goods are also needed.
Recipients of Christmas hampers receive a sackful of toys for each child and a traditional Christmas Day dinner. Families are treated to two days of a free shopping spree at Rudolph’s Recycle Shoppe, along with a free shopping spree for the children to choose a gift to give their parents and caregivers in the Kids Only Gift Shoppe.
The Christmas Hamper Society works year round to ensure there’s enough toys to put in the packages for needy families.
Toys are supplied by the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau from events such as the Pan Pacific Hotel Pancake Breakfast and the Motorcycle Toy Run.
Toys are also provided by local fire departments through the Firefighters for Families program, while shoppers in Valley Fair Mall and Haney Place Mall pitch in when they put in new toys in the boxes set up in the malls.
Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows schools along with the West Coast Express Santa Trains also contribute toys.
Cash is donated by the Haney Hotel Strip-a-thon, the school district’s Coins for Kids program, the Empty Stocking Fund and from local businesses, service clubs and individuals.
In 2014, 574 families in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows received Christmas hampers.
“With the troubled economy, we are expecting the same or more this year,” said Bates.
Christmas sale Saturday
If you’re stuck trying to find a gift for that hard-to-buy for shopper, drop into the Christmas Market in the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre this Saturday.
That’s the same day as the Santa Parade and the Christmas festival in Memorial Peace Park, so there’s a good chance you may be downtown.
Hours for the market are 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and shoppers can sip on free apple cider and enjoy live holiday music by the Mustard Seed Girls.
The selection of products ranges from vintage home decor, to chocolate and spices to local arts and crafts to clothes and accessories.