Christmas Cheer Hamper program volunteer coordinators Scott Bastian and Heather Owsianski hold up one of the 454 boxes that were distributed on Friday (Dec. 23) to families across town.

Christmas hampers distributed to 144 Ladysmith families

Families in need across Ladysmith received all the trimmings for a Christmas feast thanks to the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association.

Families in need across Ladysmith received all the trimmings for a Christmas feast thanks to the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association’s Christmas Cheer Hamper program.

Volunteer drivers assembled at Aggie Hall last Friday as perishable items were added to boxes bound for 144 households around town.

Each box contained everything from turkey or ham to Stove Top stuffing, dinner rolls, cranberries and apples to name just a few.

In all, the over 20 items are enough to last about a week, said LRCA receptionist Barb Champagne, who has helped to organize the annual effort.

“These people wouldn’t have a Christmas without it,” she said.

The families are all unique and can be single parents up to grandparents, or even a family of eight people this year.

No financial information is required but they must be within the organization’s catchment area and submit proof of residence.

Total cash donations received for the program this year were $18,638.27 at press time and food was purchased at 49th Parallel and Save-On-Foods.

Around 100 volunteers helped to assemble all of the 454 boxes over three days in the week leading up the Christmas.

The Christmas Cheer program is separate from donations received through the food bank.

Families with children also receive new or gently used toys donated to the LRCA.

Eighteen companies and local residents stepped up to sponsor families while Oceanview Community Church supported 25 singles.

“This community is absolutely wonderful. It never ceases to amaze me how good they are,” Champagne said.

Anyone interested in supporting the LRCA can do so twelve months of the year.

“We do take donations (for the Christmas Cheer program) all year round,” Champagne said. “Any money that comes in we try to keep it as a start up for next year.”