HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO Girls from the Upstreet Baptist Church Youth Group in Port Hardy wrap presents for kids in need.

Hamper Fund Update: 400 children needing presents in Port Hardy alone

More than $15,400 dollars has been donated so far

Preparations to fill all 598 Gazette Christmas Hamper applications received this year are underway.

Toys and food are being sorted by volunteers at the Gazette’s Christmas Hamper Command Centre in the Thunderbird Mall, and donations are rolling in to the Gazette office every day.

$15,400 has been collected at the office so far, and that does not include the money donated online through the blackpress4good crowdfunding website, or the $3,143 that was donated at the Dec. 7 Port Hardy Rotary Lunch, with the Rotary club donating an additional $2,500.

The final total for rotary donations will be calculated once a few more impending donations trickle in.

Many volunteers have been busy getting everything ready, from sorting applications to buying and collecting items needed for the hamper, and everything in-between.

This year there are 400 children needing presents in Port Hardy alone.

“It’s a well-oiled machine,” said Lisa Greer when she brought a girls youth group from Upstreet Baptist Church in Port Hardy to help wrap presents on the evening of Dec. 6.

The girls from the youth group wrapped presents for over 100 families in the span of a couple of hours.

“At first I panicked,” said Gazette Hamper Fund President, Sandy Grenier, at the rotary lunch, noting she was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of gifts to wrap. “But with the crew we have, we are probably going to get it done tomorrow. We even ran out of presents to wrap, and I had to go buy more.”

The fundraising goal for many years has been $30,000, but because of the rising cost of food and the growing need, the financial goal has been raised to $40,000.

“We have had to dip into a surplus that we have had for the past two years,” said Grenier.

She also noted the biggest change this year is that the Gazette is not taking late applications.

Applications and notice of the Nov. 30 deadline ran in every issue of the Gazette for the month of November, and notice was posted on our website northislandgazette.com, as well as on the Gazette’s Facebook page.

“Last year we had more than 170 applications after the deadline,” said Grenier. “Can we say no? It’s a hard thing to do.”

However, Gazette staff has been informing late applicants of other services in Port Hardy that can help them during December. Harvest Food Bank will have hampers that may include a turkey available each Friday for the month of December, except Dec. 29.

The Salvation Army Christmas lunch will also be served on Dec. 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Deliveries this year will be made on Sunday, Dec. 17 to make sure applicants get the freshest bread, with Christmas still a week away from the delivery date.

However, Sointula residents will be receiving their hampers on Dec. 16, as the Sointula Co-op will be closed on Sunday.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Police determine no emergency in Friday’s mystery radio appeal for help

Police had asked for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Port Hardy RCMP request assistance in tracking down shoplifter

The RCMP are requesting the public’s assistance identifying the female.

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Grieg Seafood awarded for employee wellness initiatives at BC Agri-Food Industry Gala

Grieg Seafood BC’s employee wellness initiatives were recognized at the BC Agri-Food… Continue reading

District of Port Hardy accepts $295,750 bid to replace Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena’s chiller

Council accepted a $295,750 bid by a refrigeration contractor to replace the arena’s chiller.

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

B.C. man creates Indigenous colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

Credit card fraud steals $50,000 from Victoria businesses: police

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

Most Read