Last rush for hamper help in Fort St. John

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

Sponsors can either shop for the family themselves, or provide a monetary donation, which will go towards groceries and gifts. Executive Director Danielle Armstrong says there are some families in Fort St. John that currently have no money for gifts under the Christmas tree. 

“Some of these families literally are in such financial strains right now that they have nothing at all to give to their kids for Christmas,” she says. “So any help would be hugely appreciated, not just with groceries, but obviously every kid looks forward to having something under their tree for Christmas, and without the support of the community and these hampers that wouldn’t be possible for some of these families.” 

BBBS’ offices close for the holidays on Saturday, so donations need to be made before then by calling Danielle Armstrong at 250-787-9674 or 250-793-5599.

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At the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Centre, low-income, single-parent families are matched with local businesses who provide them with a full Christmas, from the meal to gifts. 

“We provide the dinner, the gifts, the tree and whatever’s needed,” explains Outreach Coordinator Reanne Schular. “A lot of our moms they don’t have jobs at the big oilfield companies. They’re your Walmart workers, your McDonalds workers. They are the ones working the front lines for low wage, so it’s really hard.” 

Like with Big Brothers, sponsors can either provide funds, or shop for the families themselves provided with a list. To get involved, contact Reanne Schular or Sherri Williams at 250-787-1121. 

Lastly, the Fort St. John Salvation Army is providing hampers for 200 families this winter, but could use a few more gifts for teenagers just in case more requests come in. Some suggestions include gift cards and movie passes. 

The Sally Anne also greatly needs volunteers to help sorting in the toy room. Anyone available is asked to contact Captain Deb Vander Heyden at 250-261-9027.

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