Hamper Fund helps at holidays

Ann’s voice catches and quivers with emotion as she recalls the “most terrible” time in her life

Ann’s voice catches and quivers with emotion as she recalls the “most terrible” time in her life just a few years ago when she was unsure if she could put food on the table, let alone buy Christmas gifts for her young children.

“I was going through a separation and the father wasn’t really helping out at all financially and I was trying to go to school while on welfare and going through all these court procedures and, well, it was a really bad time,” said the single mom of two youngsters who asked that her real name be withheld.

Ann said she was getting behind in her bill payments and that was only the beginning of her troubles.

“It was terrible,” she said.

“I was stressed and depressed (and) getting counselling because I didn’t know how to handle the stress and —” she paused, her words catching in her throat.

“It takes me back to that time and I remember how hard it really was,” she said, unable to hide the familiar feelings of  helplessness and despair that rushed back with the memories.

“I didn’t know if I could provide for my kids,” she said.

Ann was faced many times with the choice of paying a bill or buying groceries.

And it became worse in December.

“I was worried and didn’t know if I would be able to give my kids Christmas presents,” she said.

The worried mom said she had a few Christmas decorations at the time, but debated whether or not to display them.

“I thought putting them up would maybe make it even worse. It was a really hard time.”

Just when Ann believed things couldn’t get any worse, the situation got better.

“My sister, who was helping me out as much as she could, put my name in the North Island Gazette’s Hamper Fund,” Ann recalled.

Soon, a hamper with food for the table and toys for the children was dropped at her door.

“When it came, I was just in tears,” Ann said.

“It was overwhelming to know I wouldn’t have to worry so much and I could have a Christmas dinner with my children. It was just awesome and I knew this would help us stay afloat.”

Now back on her feet, Ann said she’s never forgotten that moment and is grateful to the anonymous donors who helped her and her children.

“It is about the kids and I don’t think a lot of people understand when you can’t provide for your kids, not being able to buy much — or anything — for them at Christmas, it really puts a lot on you as a parent,” she said.

“When you have what you have, you don’t think about it too much until you don’t have it.”

Ann is now one of the many generous North Islanders who donates to the yearly Hamper Fund so that others might have a happier Christmas.

“It’s not about spending all this money, it’s about thinking about others, because I know when I was down  people were thinking about me, thinking about helping me out,” she said.

“I am more grateful to those people than you can imagine.”

The need this year is greater than ever and, to that end, Hamper Fund donation tins can be found at various retail locations around the North Island.

Donations of new toys and non-perishable food items are also gratefully accepted.

Toy and food donations can be dropped off at most banks and stores that sell toys, as well as at the Gazette.

 

Just Posted

‘Out of the Interior: Survival of the Small-town Cinema in British Columbia’ is coming to Gate House Theatre in Port McNeill

On Saturday, June 8 at 7:00 p.m., ‘Out of the Interior’ documentary will screen at Gate House Theatre.

North Island Rising: Political polarization

This fall there will be a minimum of four candidates wanting your vote here on the North Island.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The last walk together

“I would give almost anything to be able to have another walk together”

North Island College holding information session on new culinary diploma

Get a sneak peek at the new culinary kitchen at the Campbell River campus

Council approves replacement of overhead heaters at Fire Hall

Port Hardy council has agreed to spend $11,000 on the replacement of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Most Read