More than 25 years ago, Tucky Schellinck opened her home to those in need, offering food, clothing and other goods to those who needed an extra hand every day of the year.
Now, Rob Phillips and his co-workers at Coast Realty Group help provide those in need with a Christmas hamper filled with food and gifts for individuals and families in the Comox Valley.
“People in need would go to (Tucky’s) home 365 days a year for food and clothes. When she couldn’t do that anymore, Coast Realty took over,” explained Phillips.
The Christmas Spirit Hamper program, which is entering its 25th year, provides hampers filled with food and gifts for singles (two or less in a household) or families.
“Last year we had 623 hampers, with more than 300 being filled by School District 71; they offer incredible support,” added Phillips.
He said donations of funds received by professionals in the community go towards purchasing single hampers, while those for families can be sponsored by individuals, families or work places who which to purchase items on a personalized list.
While Phillips noted registration to receive a hamper for singles is full, there is capacity for another 170 hampers to be claimed, which also would need to be sponsored.
“We protect the privacy of the individuals receiving hampers, and ask for a minimum amount of dry goods and tailor the basket with suggestions for gifts — we would include if there is a girl or boy and their age,” he explained.
This year, distribution of the hampers is scheduled for Dec. 21 at 2683 Moray Avenue in Courtenay.
Phillips said volunteers are needed to distribute the hampers around the Valley.
“I used to live in the Lower Mainland … and moved here in 1998. I was never exposed to this level of giving on a ground level before,” added Phillips.
“I’m totally blown away by the generosity of spirit in the Valley.”
To register or sponsor a hamper, call 250-897-3999 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
For more information or to pass along confidential information, call Phillips directly at 250-897-8508.