The Ashcroft and Area Cariboo Resource Society (CRS) has been providing Christmas hampers to the less fortunate in our communities for more than 25 years, and 2016 was no exception. Volunteers helped sort and pack the donations of food over three days last week, and on December 17 some 146 hampers were distributed to families in Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, and Spences Bridge.
Teck Highland Valley donated the boxes for the hampers, as well as a lot of food, and Teck employees Jacqui Schneider and Melissa Pinyon helped pack the boxes. Lions Club member Sue Peters picked up a load of apples donated by Hilltop Gardens near Spences Bridge, while employees from Koppers helped fill and deliver the hampers.
The Ashcroft and District Lions Club presented the CRS with a cheque for $500, and members of the club helped deliver the hampers. Members of Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps 347 Avenger were also on hand on the 17th to help load the hampers into vehicles and offer other assistance.
There were many volunteers at the Ashcroft Community Hall over the four days that the hampers were packed and loaded. One of them was Julie Ells, who first starting volunteering with the Christmas hamper project when she was 13 or 14, accompanying her mother, Donna Sampson. Many more people donated food and money to the project (the CRS is not affiliated with the food bank run by the Elizabeth Fry Society). Safety Mart loaned buggies to help get the hampers loaded, while Sage Hills Evangelical Free Church donated the black and white printing, as well as the use of their tables, which members of the church dropped off and picked up.
The Cariboo Resource Society is very grateful for all the help, and for all the people who donated food and money to help make Christmas a little brighter for so many local families.