8.7 C
Elmira
Sunday, February 23, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

The spirit of giving in full force

WCS Christmas Goodwill program sees some 225 volunteers prepare 147 gift-and-food packages to bring cheer to local families

That Christmas is the season of giving was on ample display this week at Lions Hall in Elmira, where volunteers were busy sorting, wrapping and packing up hampers for needy families.

Woolwich Community Services’ Christmas Goodwill program this year prepared 147 hampers, containing donated food, clothing and toys, for distribution today (Thursday). The hampers support 204 adults and 217 children.

It was the work of some 225 volunteers who put in more than 1,140 hours over five days, notes Tina Reed, WCS’s coordinator of community support.

“We have many volunteers from service clubs, churches, businesses, schools, as well as individuals and families,” she said Tuesday in the midst of  a hall lined with tables of donated goods where waves of helpers filled boxes to meet individualized needs.

Duties included wrapping each present, because it’s not Christmas without packages to open, said Reed. It’s a labour of love for the volunteers, many of whom come out annually.

“With the wrapping, for example, many of them come year after year. We’ve had people call in September for wrapping at Christmastime,” she said.

Among those putting things under wraps were volunteers such as Carol Knarr and her daughters Sherri Dowdall and Tracy Girling of Elmira. They’ve been volunteering to wrap presents for at least five years now.

“Sherri started it, then she brought the rest of the family in,” said Knarr.

“We practice at home, and then come here so we get it perfect,” she laughed.

Each of the presents sees donated and purchased items matched to the wish lists supplied by the children, Reed explained.

Each hamper also contains food – including a frozen turkey or ham – and other items from the seasonal food drives such as the one organized by the Kiwanis Club of Elmira. There’s also a gift card for an Elmira grocery store.

“They can purchase what they want, make it their own Christmas dinner,” said Reed.

When the hampers are all packed up, any leftovers certainly don’t go to waste. Toys, for instance, go into the WCS birthday cupboard – families in need of a birthday present for a child can peruse what’s available. Likewise, if a child is invited to a birthday party, he or she can draw on the WCS stock so as not to show up empty-handed. The food, meanwhile, helps restock the shelves at the food bank.

Steve Kannon
Steve Kannonhttps://www.observerxtra.com
A community newspaper journalist for more than two decades, Steve Kannon is the editor of the Observer.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

CREATIVE ARTS

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place to be as we suffer through some midwinter weather. Way...

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Sugar Kings win three games, clinch first place

In need of just one more win to clinch first place in the Midwestern Conference, the Elmira Sugar Kings claimed all three games...

EDSS performers take Broadway under the sea

By Steve Kannon skannon@woolwichobserver.com The tropics, under the sea or otherwise, seem like a much better place...

Jacks take 3-2 series lead into deciding weekend vs. New Hamburg

The Wellesley Applejacks are up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series against the New Hamburg Firebirds, having claimed two of this week’s three games in...

Woolwich hires contractor to assess condition of its buildings

Some of the municipal buildings aren’t particularly old, but Woolwich is already planning for the eventual repairs and replacement costs associated with equipment such as...

Para hockey rivals Canada and the U.S. face off in Elmira this week

They come from all over the country, but they’re united in one goal: take back the gold medal for Canada.

Jacks split opening pair in playoff series vs. New Hamburg

For the Wellesley Applejacks, 4-1 and 4-1 make it 1-1 in the opening round of the Provincial Junior Hockey League playoffs.
- Advertisement -