Hundreds of children in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will be receiving gifts for Christmas thanks to the efforts of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.
This year 268 families are registered for a Christmas hamper, including 588 children.
Last year there were 398 families registered for a Christmas hamper, including 627 children, .
“The ratio is a bit skewed,” said Tina Kirkpatrick, director of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.
However she is happy the organization is reaching so many children in need this year. After all that is their mandate, said Kirkpatrick, providing gifts and clothing to children under the age of 18 along with a Christmas dinner.
Volunteers have already started handing out the hampers. They spent Tuesday and Wednesday this week handing them out at the food bank in Pitt Meadows. Thursday and Friday they will be handing them out at the Albion Fairgrounds in Maple Ridge.
This year applicants had to drive up to a tent to receive their hampers, no foot traffic was allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donations have also been pouring in for the society, said Kirkpatrick, who estimates they have raised at least $45,000 so far.
Money much needed after many of the fundraising events this year were cancelled like the Firefighters for Children campaign and the CP Holiday Train.
This will help out the charity immensely next year, she said.
But, Kirkpatrick said, it’s been a challenging this year.
Even though it’s been much safer because people have been registering online, her team has found it difficult to get all the information that they need from the applicants.
“So it’s been umpteen emails. The email train it’s just been incredible. We’re managing five different email accounts,” explained Kirkpatrick.
At least they still made it happen, she said, and 588 plus children are still going to get something for Christmas.
To make a donation go to mrpmchristmashamper.org.
For more information call 604-463-6922.