By Ezra Black
Each season charitable groups across the valley provide Christmas hampers to underprivileged families so that nobody goes hungry over the holidays.
This year Fernie’s Salvation Army Thrift Store and the Sparwood Food Bank are teaming up to make sure every family that gets a hamper also receives an extra package of holiday goodies.
The extra items will consist of purses full of gifts intended for women and Christmas stockings stuffed with stuff for men.
“When a family comes in for their hamper, a volunteer will be there to hand a purse to a lady and a stocking to a man, filled with goodies for them,” said the Fernie Salvation Army’s Major Edith Dean.
Dean and community support workers in both Sparwood and Fernie are asking residents to donate stockings, purses and the items to fill them.
“The challenge has gone out,” said Dean. “We’ll see that the socks and purses go to the appropriate man or woman.”
The purses and stockings are to be filled with, “Necessities like deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, brush or comb, shaving cream, gloves, socks, hand sanitizer and personal things that not everyone can afford,” she added.
They are also accepting any other gift items.
The deadline to donate items is Dec. 15.
“That allows us time to get things sorted and organized,” said Dean who noted their hampers are distributed on Dec. 21
Donations can be dropped off at the Sparwood Food Bank Tuesdays or Thursdays from noon until 2 p.m. and at the Fernie Salvation Army from Monday to Friday.
Last year, Fernie’s Salvation Army gave out approximately 75 hampers and Dean expects, “That we’ll do about a hundred this year.”
The organization will be taking hamper applications from November 21 to December 1.