The Elves Club is gearing up to prepare hampers for people on the Coast who might not have much of a Christmas otherwise.
"If you have a basic job making $8 an hour, $8.50 an hour, and you've got the kids at home and your house to look after and rent to pay, sometimes you have to choose between buying a turkey and not, so you don't [buy the turkey]," said club secretary Jacquie Braun. "So it makes a difference in a lot of working class lives."
Last year, the club provided more than 700 hampers for Coast residents and families. Each hamper contains about $100 worth of food and presents, fresh vegetables and fruit, candy, toys for the kids, and of course a turkey.
"Sometimes people are off work because they're sick or their job disappears," Braun said. "So it gives them a little extra boost. Instead of paying that $100 for groceries, you can go get something for the kids."
In early December, a range of participating businesses on the Coast will be collecting cash donations, non-perishable food and unwrapped new gifts for babies up to grandparents. People wanting to donate gifts, Braun said, might want to consider buying something for adolescents a frequently under-served category. Drop-off locations include: the Egmont post office, the credit union in Madeira Park, the Elves Club depot beside Sears in Park Plaza in Upper Gibsons and Gilligan's Pub in Sechelt.
Coast TV will host the annual Elves Club telethon Dec. 5 from 2 to 10 p.m., at the Heritage Playhouse in Gibsons where people can call in and pledge donations or drop by during the broadcast and watch the telethon live at the theatre and take in the various local entertainment that will be performing.
Residents who would like to apply for a hamper can find applications at human resources offices, the mental health office, the family services office, the food bank and in the Nov. 20 and Dec. 4 editions of Coast Reporter.
The Elves Club welcomes anyone who wants to lend a hand to come to Christian Life Assembly Church on School Road in Gibsons for hamper filling during the evening of Thursday, Dec. 17, all day Friday, Dec.18, and to help with deliveries Saturday, Dec. 19. Anyone with questions can reach the Elves Club depot, as of Dec. 1, at 604-886-7743.