Hundreds of children in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows will now have presents under their tree on Christmas Day thanks to the hard work of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society and the generosity of the community.
The second Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe took place today at the Albion Fairgrounds, with more than 60 families braving the cold and wet weather to get the help they need during the holiday season.
Christmas Hamper Society board chair Tina Kirkpatrick explained that there has been an extremely high demand for the various shopping programs offered by the society this year.
“We had a similar amount of toys but a lot more children this year,” said Kirkpatrick.
“I’ve still got 200 children that have yet to do their shopping here. About 100 hundred of them we still have to make appointments for, and the other 100 haven’t completed their applications yet. There are 98 children there who still need help, but we can’t complete the applications because there’s missing information. That’s a big worry for me given that next week is the end of this.”
Everything from children’s toys to adult clothing and Christmas decorations were out for people to look through on Saturday.
People from all walks of life were present, with Kirkpatrick explaining that a large number of Ukrainians were utilizing the program this year.
“This is the only way that my family gets any real gifts this year,” said one shopper. “My husband was struck in a car accident, so this is the only way for me.”
People wanting to donate gifts to the Christmas Hamper Society can do so until next Thursday, Dec. 14.
There will be one more weekend of Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe, with the Kid’s Only event that allows children to pick a gift for their parents happening on Saturday, Dec. 16.
More information on the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society programs can be found by visiting www.mrpmchristmashamper.org.