Big Brothers Big Sisters finishes the year with Holiday Hamper success

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Danielle Armstrong, Executive Director of Fort St. John’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Branch, says this year had one of the strongest campaigns for their Holiday Hamper Campaign.

Many sponsors have actually come to the organization to ask how they can help, which Armstrong said was a good kind of surprise.

“In previous years, we’ve had to do a plea in the media and say, ‘We’re looking for sponsors, we need additional support,'” she told Energetic City. “That wasn’t the case this year.”

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As of Christmas Eve, they were able to give out 54 hampers to families. One of those hampers went to the Cecil Lake family who had their home burn down the same day.

The Lido, who has been gathering donations through the holiday parties they’ve been hosting, was the largest sponsor of the program this year, with a $5,000 donation.

“It’s a really humbling experience for us to be the middle men and deliver those hampers, and those beds, to people,” said Armstrong, adding that getting to give the families in need great gifts for the season is rewarding. “The sponsors know they’re making the difference, but they don’t get to see it.”

11 Dream Sponsor beds were also given out, much more than their initial goal and gathered within just a day of announcing the need for them. Even when families were asking on the night before Christmas Eve, Armstrong said they were able to find a way to help every single one who needed the help.

As the holidays, and the year, come to a close, Armstrong says the need for help doesn’t go away after the campaign has finished.

“There’s people in our community who need help year round, and especially with the downturn in the economy this year, I think we’re seeing that more and more.”

Armstrong thanks all the sponsors and volunteers who contributed to helping make the Holiday Hamper Campaign a success.

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