Lorraine Bates, with the Christmas Hamper Society, unloads toys in November. (THE NEWS – files)

Fewer people needed Christmas hamper help

Only 388 families from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows signed up

Fewer people needed the help of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society this year.

Compared to 2018, when 400 families registered for toys, clothes and a Christmas Day dinner grocery voucher, only 388 people signed up for such help this December.

Back in 2011, a total of 640 families received hampers.

Tina Kirkpatrick, with the hamper society, said it seems that economic times are better.

Read more: Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society fill in the gaps

“I wouldn’t say there’s not the demand, but people do seem to be more financially stable,” she said Friday.

However, it’s a concern that people are leaving it later each year to register, she said. And starting registration earlier isn’t the answer either, because that was tried a number of years ago, she added.

Read more: Loads of toys trucked in for Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows Christmas hampers

This year, in order to maximize the number of registrations, the hamper society held five registration days at different venues. Despite that, some people still came to the society after registration had closed.

“There appears to be more help,” Kirkpatrick said. She noted that the Langley Christmas organization contacted Maple Ridge because there were no families in Langley needing to be sponsored for Christmas.

Read more: Realtors Care Blanket Drive coming in November

She said that people really helped out when it came to helping move tonnes of toys to the barn in Albion flats.

And, “The Realtors (Care) Blanket Drive was phenomenal,” she said.

This year, realtors brought in more than 290 bags of warm blankets and clothes, a new record.

Kirkpatrick said that the hamper society volunteers “are the best and put in as much time as they possibly can.”


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