Volunteers with the Stettler Community Christmas Hamper Society are reaching out to the community for support to help make the Christmas season brighter for several local families.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, residents can donate everything from food to clothing to toys for kids to the program. Volunteers will gather in the days before the holiday to put together hampers, which will then be delivered to local families.
“We are asking people to donate items and to also contribute their time,” explained Don Rasmussen, president of the Society, adding that winter gear and clothing in a wide range of sizes are particularly needed as well.
Last year, about 150 families were assisted, and the need tends to grow a bit each year, he added.
“We also have other volunteers who step in and help pack hampers on the days (before Christmas). We rent the community hall and lay out the tables – it’s quite the affair with all the boxes set out,” he explained.
“We have very good community members who also donate the boxes, including grocery stores who give boxes, donate food and volunteer their time as well,” he said.
Overall, Rasmussen said the Society certainly benefits from many loyal volunteers each year who serve in a number of capacities.
“They are dedicated, and we have a lot of fun interacting and participating,” he said, adding that another role volunteers can serve in is via truck deliveries. “There are also businesses that ‘donate’ their staff for a day to drive trucks and deliver hampers, too,” he said.
The Society oversees the collection of the food and clothing and the packing and delivery of the hampers. The local FCSS office processes hamper applications. “FCSS connects to us to let us know who is getting what because we have different sizes of hampers for different sizes of families,” he explained.
“It feels good to be able to help out, and to see the thankful faces on the recipients, too,” he said. “They are very thankful. A lot of them don’t want to be in that situation, but they’ve reached out and we are glad to be able to provide (the service).”
For more information about donations or volunteering in any capacity, give Don Rasmussen a call at 403-741-2320.