Hamper drive in home stretch, but still time to donate, apply
Posted: December 9, 2016
Abundant Life Lutheran Church members are spearheading a hamper drive this year to make sure everyone has a Merry Christmas.
Randy Loeb, one of the members involved in coordinating the Community Christmas Hamper Drive, said it fills a need for people caught in between Winnipeg and Selkirk, where other hamper services are provided.
"If you happen to be in need at Christmas time you can’t approach the Christmas Cheer Board (in Winnipeg) and you can’t approach Selkirk, so there’s kind of a gap,” Loeb said.
The Church has been coordinating the hamper drive for several years, with great support from the community. There is a need for a hamper drive, Loeb said.
Over the years they have encountered people through the hamper drive who’ve fallen on hard times and who are appreciative of the community support at a difficult time in their life.
Loeb said last year a couple that had been working in Alberta in the oilfields was laid off and had to move back home to Manitoba. They applied for a hamper to help make ends meet during that time.
He recalled a single mom who wasn’t able to work full time. She had a part-time job, but appreciated the hamper at Christmas, because her part-time job didn’t allow for any more than the necessities in life.
Each case is different, he said, but despite living in an area others may perceive as wealthy, there are still many who need assistance.
"It’s not like they’re homeless like you might find in downtown Winnipeg, but there are people in need who’ve lost whatever they had, so they’re kind of desperate,” Loeb said.
Last year the drive put together 65 hampers. It’s an effort that relies on community support and Loeb said they’re appreciative of all those who help out. He said area businesses and organizations are key to their success. He estimated they have about 75 to 100 volunteers who put the hampers together.
The hampers support people in East St. Paul, West St. Paul, St. Clements and parts of Springfield.
There’s still time for people to donate or apply to receive a hamper. Call coordinator Karin Brewer on the Hamper Line at 431-998-9627. The deadline to apply or donate is Dec. 14.
"So many different people help, it is really a community project,” Loeb said.
Loeb also pointed out that nothing donated goes to waste. Last year when they had extra donations, they took them to an area food bank.