West Coast Auto Group’s Scott Jones and Michelle Jones-Ruppel presented a cheque for $2,000 to Tina Kirkpatrick, centre, director of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society. (West Coast Auto Group/Special to The News)

West Coast Auto Group’s Scott Jones and Michelle Jones-Ruppel presented a cheque for $2,000 to Tina Kirkpatrick, centre, director of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society. (West Coast Auto Group/Special to The News)

People still asking for help this Christmas in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Less than a week before Christmas, the Christmas Hamper Society can only help those in dire need

Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society is still seeing last minute pleas for help.

The final deadline to register at the society was Dec. 4. However, even on Monday there were still people begging for assistance.

About five families put applications in on Monday, said director of the Christmas hamper society Tina Kirkpatrick.

“They had extenuating circumstances, so we were able to help them,” she noted.

But, she said, they will still help those who suddenly find themselves in a dire situation up until Christmas.

These last five bring the total numbers to 279 families, including 607 children, that registered for help this year.

Lorraine Bates, chair of the society for the past 23 years, said this year was very challenging.

Some people were disappointed they weren’t doing all the programs like: Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe, where families can take from gently used clothes, household goods and decorations; the Toy Barn filled with brand new donated toys; and Kid’s Only Gift Shoppe, that pairs up with Santa’s shopping elves to find a gift perfect for their parents.

Others, said Bates, were thankful because they knew about the gift cards but didn’t realize there were going to get the food vouchers as well.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic the society was only handing out gift cards for children up to 18-years and food vouchers for Christmas dinner this year.

READ MORE: Christmas hamper deadline extended for residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

“That was a nice surprise for them,” she said.

One thing that Bates found disappointing this year was that she wasn’t able to provide jobs for all her volunteers.

One volunteer in particular, who was part of the team that ran Rudolph’s second hand section, told Bates that she missed the Hamper and when she heard a Christmas song that reminded her of the fun she had last year, she started to cry.

“It was then that I realized that the hamper is more than the obvious, helping families, it’s so important to the volunteers,” said Bates.

“They form friendships and that to me is just the sign of so many successes,” she added.

Kirkpatrick is not going to miss the extra work registering families for hampers this year.

Because of the pandemic, registration was done by email. And, Kirkpatrick said, there was so much back and forth with each family that it took a lot of time and organization.

However, everybody received something, noted Kirkpatrick.

READ MORE: Grinch steals Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society’s safe

Next year, both Bates and Kirkpatrick hope that COVID is gone and it will be business as usual again for the Christmas hamper society.

Although they didn’t see the high numbers of people they were expecting this year, Bates said, there is nothing more they could have done to get the word out.

They reached out to every single community service group, every single school, every person who went to the Friends In Need Food Bank received a registration form and every agency had their phone number.

“I think the government CERB, (Canada Emergency Response Benefit), is really keeping people afloat,” said Bates.

Kirkpatrick wanted to remind people that they can still donate to the Christmas hamper society through PayPal on their website or by sending a cheque to their post office address, 23448 Jim Robson Way (Albion Fairgrounds), Maple Ridge, B.C., V2W 1C1.

Nothing of value will be kept on site, she said.

And, if there is a family in immediate need, they can email: team1@mrpmchristmashamper.org. The account will be monitored up until Christmas.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Christmasmaple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A partial image from the painting Kanaka Creek by Eric Hotz, which in the exhibit at the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery.
A Study of Nature exhibition opens at Pitt Meadows Art Gallery

Eric Hotz paintings feature familiar scenes from across the Lower Mainland

Shannon Belsito took this photo on Thursday morning, indicating the true arrival of spring. “Feeling the inspiring beauty and freshness of spring with these gorgeous magnolia blossoms near Kanaka Creek that just popped after the rain.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Spring has arrived in all its splendor

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

A small memorial to Rich Goulet was started at Pitt Meadows Secondary after his recent death. (Neil Corbett/The News)
LETTER: Rename Pitt Meadows school gym in coach’s honour

Rich Goulet was considered one of the provinces best basketball coaches and died recently

Doug Nolin, a Maple Ridge senior, snapped this picture of his pet pigeons taking flight down by the old Albion ferry dock. “What a beautiful land we live in,” he said. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Chirp, chirp: Ridge senior captures pigeons taking flight

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

Pamela Franklin captured this picture of a raccoon in Maple Ridge, “chilling” in her backyard, on her storage bin. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Lounging in the spring sun

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon.

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

A volunteer disinfects a historical Mohabat Khan mosque ahead of the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
For Canadian Muslims, second pandemic Ramadan is a time of hope and sadness

Many members of the association are trying to find ways ‘to help people stay connected to one another’

South Surrey farmland, March 2020. The province’s crackdown on secondary residences sparked protests that have the NDP government engaged in a lengthy rewrite of its legislation. (Tracy Holmes/Peace Arch News)
B.C. NDP now wants to keep even ‘non-farmers’ on the land

‘Grandfathering’ of second residences extended again

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive during a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus. It is now the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks’ return to practice pushed back as player added to COVID protocol list

COVID outbreak has led to eight games being cancelled

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

Most Read