'Tis the season for Christmas hampers and angel trees

December’s arrival means it’s time for Christmas hampers and angel trees.

The Lillooet Community Christmas Hamper Society’s aim is to alleviate some of the stress surrounding the holiday season by providing low-income households with a hamper of food that includes a turkey to prepare a special Christmas meal, as well as additional items to help fill a pantry shelf.

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The Angel Tree program is a division of the Christmas Hamper project. Under the program, children between the ages of newborn to 17 years of age are eligible to receive a Christmas gift.

Every year, Canada Post, Interior Savings Credit Union, CIBC and Pharmasave allow the program to put Angel Tree depots in their businesses.

The Angel Tree table will be set up at the Old Mill Plaza mall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 and again, at the same times, on Saturday, Dec. 15.

A Community Pot Luck fundraiser for the Christmas Hamper Society will be held Sunday, Dec. 9 at the Better Living Centre, located at 603 Main Street.

Christmas gifts will be wrapped starting at 9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 17 at St. Andrew’s United and St. Mary’s Anglican Church. Hampers will be assembled at the church starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 18. Members of the public are welcome to come out and volunteer on both of those days.

Wednesday, Dec. 19 is distribution day at the church, starting at 8:30 a.m.

Donations may be mailed to the Lillooet Community Christmas Hamper Society at PO Box 202, Lillooet or dropped off at Linda’s on Main.

In 2017, 148 households in Lillooet registered for food hampers. Sixty-one of those  households were raising children under the age of 17. A total of 122 children received Angel Tree Christmas gifts.

The cost to run the 2017 program was approximately $8,000. Fortunately, last year’s donations surpassed the cost, and the surplus will be used to start this year’s program.

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