Hamper fund president Sandy Grenier holds up the $10,000 cheque from WFP along with operations manager Randy Boas and Gazette publisher Natasha Griffiths. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Hamper fund president Sandy Grenier holds up the $10,000 cheque from WFP along with operations manager Randy Boas and Gazette publisher Natasha Griffiths. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

WFP spreads holiday cheer with generous donations

Western Forest Products (Western) announced it will be donating $100,000 to help community groups spread holiday cheer in areas where the company operates. The donation will be distributed to more than 40 Indigenous partners and community groups on the coast of B.C. and Washington State that provide meals and gifts to help individuals and families celebrate the holiday season.

“With the challenges this year has brought for many, we believe it is more important than ever that we play a role in helping those in need,” said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western. “This is a season of giving and we are grateful to have the opportunity to continue our tradition of supporting the areas in which we live and work.”

The North Island Gazette Christmas Hamper Fund in the Mount Waddington region received a huge check for $10,000 which will go towards helping struggling families in need enjoy a brighter Christmas.

The Community Hamper Fund in Campbell River, a recipient of Western’s funding, will use the funding to distribute hampers to individuals and families in need across the North Island.

“This Christmas marks 47 years of distributing hampers that include food along with a gift for children and a little something for seniors to remind them that people out there do care,” said Ken Niesen, Chairman, Community Christmas Hamper Fund. “COVID-19 makes the 2020 hamper effort the toughest I have seen in over 40 years of involvement. While there is a lot of understandable apprehension out there, the community has never let us down and we are grateful to Western Forest Products for its important contribution.”

The company’s donations to individual groups vary in amount depending on community size.

“The generous donation from Western Forest Products will be used to purchase toys and games for children and gifts and books for teens. For the past 38 years, the Great Nanaimo Toy Drive has served the communities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, and Cedar. Each year, we provide toys, books, games and stocking stuffers for 1,200 to 1,500 children from newborn to 16 years of age,” said Krista Simpson, Chair, The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive. “We expect an even greater need from the community this year due to the pandemic and we have been working hard to make sure we can operate the toy drive safely and successfully.”

Today’s donations continue the Company’s long-term commitment of investing in community needs in the areas where its employees live and work. Through Western’s Community Enhancement Fund, the Company provides support to local community events, organizations and initiatives. Western takes pride in its contributions to sustainable and stable communities in the areas in which it operates, including through community contributions, the purchase of local goods and services, local employment and taxes.

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