Friday April 18, 2014

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Hampers need cheering up

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With only two more weeks before Christmas, weíre all very busy preparing for the holidays.

Last minute shopping, wrapping gifts, putting up our outside light displays and Christmas trees inside. Itís a wonderful time of the year. But for many in our community, itís a very difficult time. Many are struggling to live day-to-day let alone having enough money and food to celebrate Christmas.

Thatís why it is so important to support the good work of the Elves Club and The Salvation Army.

Last Saturday was the annual Elves Club telethon in Gibsons. And although it was a successful event, raising in excess of $13,000, monetary donations are down significantly this year. Last yearís telethon brought in more than $20,000.

Elves Club president Lynn Nestman was very happy with the community effort when we talked with her this week. She thanked the wonderful musical talent that graced the stage during the event, the volunteers who manned the phones and the businesses and residents who stepped up with their pledges. She was astounded by the generosity and giving spirit of the Sunshine Coast. And we couldnít agree with her more, but we know the Coast can do better.

We have one week to go before hamper delivery day on Dec. 21. Weíre hoping that the Coast community will recognize that the Elves need a bit more help and will open up their hearts and give a little more.

In recent weeks, many have given to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which is tremendous. But while we are helping in the Philippines, we need to also think about helping out closer to home.

And itís just not the Elves Club that needs our support. The Salvation Army is nearing the end of its annual Kettle Campaign.

On Wednesday evening, Camp Sunrise was filled to capacity as volunteers with the Salvation Army fed hundreds at their annual Christmas dinner. Volunteers worked for days preparing the feast, which was aided by money raised during the Kettle Campaign. This week, the Salvation Army reached out to us seeking more volunteers to man the kettles in the community for the final days. Groups like the Salvation Army and the Elves Club are vital in our community, providing so many needed services throughout the year and especially during the holiday season.

Volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that those who need a helping hand receive it and those who need some support to make their holiday a bit brighter get that support. So Sunshine Coast, open up your hearts just a bit more. The Christmas hampers and kettles just need a little more holiday cheer.

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