FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Fort St. John has concluded their Christmas hamper program.
Executive Director Danielle Armstrong says that this year, Big Brothers, Big Sisters brought in enough donations to help a total of 59 families for a total of 223 individuals. Armstrong says that this is an increase of 22.5 percent over last year’s Christmas hamper program. She explained that the increase is both a good and bad thing. “It’s great that we were able to support them, but bad that there’s an increased need,” said Armstrong.
Armstrong estimates that over $29,000 of toys, clothing, winter-wear, bedding, household items and grocery assistance was donated to the hamper program this year. In addition, over $11,000 in food assistance was also donated.
She explained that the hampers that the organisation puts together are unique in that they are customised to each individual family. “We look at addressing grocery needs… we also look at household needs, so helping out with things like towels and bakeware. In addition to that each child’s needs are addressed. So we look at if they have all their winter gear, if they have clothing, adequate bedding, and then we try to address some of their wish list items as well.”
Big Brothers, Big Sisters worked collaboratively with four other local organizations that were also providing hampers to local families to ensure that as many as possible in need were able to benefit through their shared resources.