By Ezra Black
At last count, 70 purses and about half that number of stockings have been donated for the Elk Valley Challenge.
But challenge organizer Laura North-Auer said there is a ways to go before reaching the goal of 140 of each item.
North-Auer is teaming up with the Fernie Salvation Army and the Sparwood Food Bank to donate purses and Christmas stockings to the underprivileged this holiday season.
The handbags and socks will be filled with holiday gifts. The purses are intended for women. The stockings are for men.
North-Auer said she conceived the challenge in early September and approached Fernie Salvation Army Major Edith Dean with her idea.
“From there I started doing posters at home and hanging them around town,” said North-Auer. “It’s going really well. I’m really happy about it.”
All around the valley, people are answering the challenge, she said.
Students of Frank J Mitchell Elementary School donated purses.
The Mountainview Dental Centre is donating toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss.
The East Kootenay Community Credit Union has dropped off a box of purses.
Cora Goulet, Santa’s Workshop organizer, found out about the challenge and donated a number of Christmas stockings.
North-Auer said the Elk Valley Challenge is a way to give something extra to the mother’s of disadvantaged families who still manage to celebrate Christmas, even during lean times.
“It seems like a lot of the focus during the holidays is on the kids, because that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “[But] when I see the faces of some of the ladies, they’re so grateful for all the help. I wanted to give something just for them.”