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WCS still taking donations to make Christmas brighter for families in need

The Christmas Wish Trees at the WCS office and other locations are decorated with gift ideas for Woolwich’s less fortunate children. [Will Sloan / The Observer]
The Christmas Wish Trees at the WCS office and other locations are decorated with gift ideas for Woolwich’s less fortunate children.[Will Sloan / The Observer]
The Christmas Wish Trees at the WCS office and other locations are decorated with gift ideas for Woolwich’s less fortunate children. [Will Sloan / The Observer]
If you’ve visited At the Crossroads Family Restaurant, the WCS office or the Home Hardware stores in Elmira, St. Jacobs and Linwood, you’ve seen the Christmas trees with stars on the branches: “Washable Markers,” “Bracelet Jewelry Kit,” “Size 8 Long-Sleeved Top,” “$10 Gift Card,” and other items listed.

These are some of the modest gifts that Woolwich Community Services hopes to raise for children of low-income families as part of the Christmas Goodwill program.

For this annual fundraiser, the WCS packs Christmas hampers with new toys, clothing, and food items donated by local residents, churches, service clubs, and businesses to make sure to keep the yuletide merry for residents who need it the most.

“We provide families with food, and a food voucher to shop for additional items that people enjoy over the Christmas holidays,” explained Kelly Christie, director of community support at WCS.

“We provide them with a choice of a turkey or a ham, and they would have the several boxes of toiletries and non-perishable food items collected by Kiwanis from their food drive in November. Then they would receive a gift card to either Foodland or No Frills, their choice.”

The annual program is expecting to serve hampers to between 150 and 155 families this year, up from 149 in 2012. “It’s the Christmas hamper, so all the children in the household would get new toys and clothes that the parents have [specified] in their wish lists, and the parents would get a small gift as well,” said Christie.

Donation ideas can be sourced from the WCS wish trees at various locations around town. “We have provided these places with stars with what kids have requested, or what through the years past we know that we’re going to need,” said Christie.

She added, “Why should people donate? Because there is a need there, and you’ll feel good about it.”

The WCS is accepting donations for its Christmas Goodwill program until December 13 at its office at 73 Arthur St. S. For information on how to volunteer or sponsor a family, call 519-669-5139.

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