Chirstmas hampers bring food and gifts to less fortunate families for the holiday season. (File photo)

Annual Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program is underway

A fundraising dance will be held for the program next Saturday at the Native Sons Hall.

Registration for the Comox Valley’s annual Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program opened on Nov. 1.

Now in its 29th year, the program distributes between 500 and 600 food hampers to families in need in the Comox Valley each Christmas. The hampers include perishables and non-perishables, as well as a full turkey dinner and a few toys for kids.

“Sponsors are calling in now and we’re matching them up [with families]. The hampers have to be back to our warehouse by Dec. 12 or 15,” said program co-ordinator Annette Bowden.

Real estate agency Royal LePage co-ordinates the annual Christmas hamper program. It is the third group to co-ordinate the program, which Comox Valley resident Tucky Schellink started out of her basement in 1988.

“It’s a great program and it’s important because there are a lot of families out there that struggle at Christmastime and can’t provide for their children,” said Bowden. “This provides them a good amount of groceries and food, so they don’t have to worry about that.”

Potential sponsors are calling in and being matched with families. Bowden said there are usually more than 100 sponsors each year.

The program hotline is 250-334-4913.

The process is meant to be anonymous.

“It gives them a good Christmas that they otherwise might not have had,” said Bowden, adding that the program is looking for volunteer drivers to deliver the hampers on Friday, Dec. 22 starting at 8 a.m.

The program is being run out of the old Comox Elementary School (325 Rodello St.) this year. Sponsors can drop off their hampers at either that location or the Royal LePage office at 121-750 Comox Road.

A fundraising dance will be held for the Christmas hamper program on Nov. 25 at the Native Sons Hall. Tickets are $20.

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