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

Registration is open until Wednesday, Dec. 14
From left: Angela Dignem, Cal Sharpe, Cari Warner, Ann Fantin, Gladys West, Linda Sharpe, and Ann Morcom, volunteers with Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe at the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society. (Special to The News)

More than 200 families have registered for help with the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

To date there are 235 families who are registered.

“That’s the number of families I had last year,” said Tina Kirkpatrick, board chair of the society. “We’ve still got another nine days to go.”

Kirkpatrick is expecting about 270 families to register this year and believes the surge for help is because this year financial assistance that was available during the COVID-19 pandemic, has ended.

And, she said, out of the 235 families who registered last year, 32 of the registrants came in after deadline.

This year Kirkpatrick has had around eight Ukrainian families register for help to date, and says they have been extra generous to them because of the circumstances they came from.

The Christmas Hamper Society was established in the late 1960’s and is a registered non-profit and a member of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau, run solely by volunteers. The mandate of the society is to provide a traditional Christmas dinner and gifts for every family and child in need in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows to open Christmas day, so every family in the community can enjoy a wonderful Christmas.

Registration with the society started on Monday, Nov. 7.

Those who need help can register either online or in person.

Families must be approved by the society – meeting specific criteria of having a low income or receiving government financial assistance.

Once approved families will receive a grocery gift card and gifts for every child under the age of 19, who are in their full-time care and who are named on the application form.

Each family, who choose not to be a part of the Good Neighbour Program where people in the community sponsor a family, is called to make an appointment to shop for brand new toys for their children in the Toy Barn.

Then each child from birth to 18 years, will receive a gift hamper worth $125.

READ MORE: Registration season starts for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society

ALSO: Head of Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society passing the reins

Every family will also receive gift cards for groceries to have a complete Christmas dinner – an amount that had to be increased this year due to inflation.

Families are being encouraged to apply online, as there is a limited amount of in-person registrations at the Christmas Hamper Society office.

This year will be the first year since the COVID pandemic started that the Christmas Hamper Society will offer all of their programs again including Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe where families can pick up gently used items. The first shopping opportunity for Rudolph’s Recycle took place Saturday, Dec. 3, and will continue for the next two Saturdays, Dec. 10 and 17.

And the Kid’s Only Shoppe, where children can choose new items to give their parents for Christmas, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Donations of toys, puzzles, games, books, crafts, decorations, clothing, coats, housewares, blankets and bedding, towels, jewellery, and unopened toiletries are being accepted until Thursday, Dec. 15.

New donations for the Kid’s Only, like scarves, gloves, sports memorabilia, or packaged mugs with tea or coffee – anything gift worthy for an adult will also be accepted.

One thing they are looking for specifically to be donated are gift bags, said Kirkpatrick, to wrap the presents. It just makes it easier for her volunteers to wrap the presents than with wrapping paper, she explained.

Deadline for registration is Wednesday, Dec. 14.

For more information and to register go to

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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