For the third year, Sears Hometown Store in Courtenay is sponsoring the John Howard Society’s KidStart program with its Tree of Wishes Campaign.
This year’s campaign is trying to at least equal last year’s effort of filling 30 wishes.
“They (children) may not necessarily be from families that don’t have anything, but their parents are having trouble in some way,” said Sandi Parker, store co-owner. “There’s mentors that volunteer with the kids three hours a week.”
The store has distributed Sears Wish Books so mentors can help children select a catalogue item they would like to receive for Christmas. Children are asked to choose something under $35.
Parker and employee Lisa Kennelly then place snowflakes with the wish item and price on the Christmas tree at the store.
“The kids are not identified,” Parker said. “All we get is initials, a gender, an age and the amount of the gift.”
Customers can choose to purchase a gift outright, or make a donation towards its purchase. Gifts are then taken to the John Howard Society, which distributes the presents.
“We were very surprised the first year,” Parker said. “Some kids asked for socks. It’s been quite a humbling experience for us at the store.”
Sears Hometown Store is located at 700 29th St. in Courtenay.