Volunteers at the Christmas Hamper Society office are ready for the Christmas rush. (Contributed) Bill Dick, with Phoenix Truck and Crane, helped out with a $1,500 donation to the hamper.

Volunteers at the Christmas Hamper Society office are ready for the Christmas rush. (Contributed) Bill Dick, with Phoenix Truck and Crane, helped out with a $1,500 donation to the hamper.

Christmas Hamper Society awaiting families in Maple Ridge

Good news that fewer people need help this year

It’s kind of a good-news, bad-news scenario this year at the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, down at the Albion fairgrounds.

The good news is, for one reason or another, as of late last week, only 170 people have registered for a Christmas hamper, reports volunteer coordinator Tina Kirkpatrick.

That either means, in today’s buoyant economy, when people have jobs and money, that they don’t really need a Christmas hamper.

If that’s the case, it’s all good, says Kirkpatrick.

But she’s also wondering, is the low number of registrants because people just haven’t bothered to sign up yet for a hamper and in the next few days they’re about to swamp the place?

Where is everyone, she’s wondering?

It just seems a bit too quiet.

“But if everybody is taken care of, that’s great.”

There are only two remaining registration dates for people to sign up for a Christmas hamper.

This Friday, Dec. 7, at the Maple Ridge Baptist Church at 22155 Lougheed Hwy., registration takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., while on Sunday, Dec. 9, the last day of registration takes place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., at the Christmas hamper office in the Albion fairgrounds on Jim Robson Way, across from Planet Ice.

Kirkpatrick said that ideally, once registered, families can pick up their toys and vouchers all in one and be ready for Christmas.

“We just want to make sure that everybody who’s eligible comes down to register,” Kirkpatrick said.

Last year, 465 families received a hamper ensuring that they got Christmas grocery vouchers, based on the size of the family as well as toys, worth up to $75 for each child in the family.

In 2011, a total of 640 families received hampers.

The hamper society tries to make Christmas as easy and family friendly as possible. Parents can pick out their own toys for their kids at the Toy Barn and while there also get free board games and books, all brand new. There’s also the Rudolph’s Recycle Gift Shoppe where people can pick up any new or gently used item that suits their fancy.

On Dec. 15, there’s a Kid’s Only Gift Shoppe where kids can stop in and pick out presents for their parents or caregivers.

Donors continue to help out to ensure that everyone has a Christmas.

The West Coast Express Santa Train takes place on two Saturdays, Dec. 8 and 15, where free rides into Vancouver are given in exchange for a new gift donation to the hamper society. Meanwhile, the Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue Firefighters for Families will be collecting toys, food and cash for both the hamper society and the Friends in Need Food Ban, on Dec. 15.

People also continue to drop off donations daily. West Coast Auto Group and Phoenix Truck and Crane were only just two of the most recent donors.

And if it wasn’t for the annual Caddyshack Strip-A-Thon that took place Sunday, the Christmas Hamper Society would be in a bad way.

Last year, the dancers and staff at the Caddyshack raised just under $30,000.

That pays for more than half of the cost of the grocery vouchers, said Kirkpatrick.

People can also sign up for the Good Neighbours Program, where they adopt a particular family and get the appropriate gifts, ensuring everyone has a happy Christmas.

 

(THE NEWS/files)                                Peter van der Lee, a volunteer at the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, shows some of the toys from last year.

(THE NEWS/files) Peter van der Lee, a volunteer at the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society, shows some of the toys from last year.

Just Posted

Gerry Jensen had an interesting visitor last month in his backyard near Maple Ridge Park. It was a male pileated woodpecker. “I hear these guys fairly often, but haven’t actually seen one in 25 years or more. I was very surprised to see this one demolishing a suet block hanging in my Hazelnut tree. Their eyesight must be fantastic in order to find a small block like this more or less hidden in the branches.” (Special to The News)
SHARE: Fine-feathered friends feast in Maple Ridge backyard

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

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Ron Tuck presents a Ridge Meadows Royals #33 to Larry Walker Sr., as the local minor ball association retired Larry Walker Jr.’s number. (Special to The News)
Ridge Meadows Baseball retires Larry Walker’s number

Association honours future hall of famer

Albion Community Centre in phase 2 of construction plan. (City of Maple Ridge)
Albion Community Centre closer to completion

Construction is expected to wrap up fall 2021

xx
Pedestrian struck in Pitt Meadows

Area near Airport way and Harris Road has been shut down by police

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

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

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Most Read