The Ladysmith Resources Centre Association (LRCA) is asking the community to give cash donations for families in need, rather than the Christmas hampers it normally delivers as part of its Christmas Cheer program. Due to COVID-19, there will also be no big Christmas gift sort at Aggie Hall this year. The cash donations will be used to buy gift cards for groceries and presents and will be distributed to registered families inside a Christmas card, according to the LRCA.
Families will have discretion over the gifts they purchase with their gift cards. The grocery gift cards will be for the 49th Parallel and gift cards for other items will be for Walmart. Walmart was chosen because of the wide selection of items available, the association said.
“We’re not collecting food and we’re not collecting toys again this year, because of the COVID risk and all the numbers of people involved — we just can’t do it safely,” said Barb Champagne, LRCA office manager.
Registration will be open from Nov. 16 – Dec. 9. Families can register at the LRCA on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Clients can pick up their gift certificates on Dec. 14, 15 and 16.
Karen Laing, LRCA executive director said the LRCA has been fortunate to be able to respond effectively and efficiently during the pandemic. “It is thanks to the remarkable community support that we can meet our fundraising goals each year at this time,” she said. “I would be remiss if I did not thank the LRCA office manager, Barb Champagne, and her team of volunteers for their leadership of the campaign over so many years. We are truly blessed for their dedication to ensure all the citizens of Ladysmith have a warm meal and some Christmas cheer over the holiday season.”
Christmas Cheer fund boundaries are the west side of Highway 1, to Haslam Creek Road to the north, to Jones Road on the east side of the highway and Old Chemainus Road to Lagoon Bridge and Stocking Creek to the south. Families within the boundary are welcome to register. Those who wish to sponsor families this year can also do so through the LRCA. The LRCA has a target of 150 families to serve this year.
Donations can be made online at lrca.ca/donate page with the Christmas Cheer designation or cheques can be dropped off at the LRCA at 630 2nd Avenue in Ladysmith.