Christmas cheer going out today

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Santa would be proud.

Hundreds of volunteers are fanning out across Petrolia and Lambton County today (Dec. 19) handing out food and toys to make sure there is Christmas For Everyone.

Over the few months Sandra Hartman of the Petrolia Food Bank and her volunteers have been buying, gathering, and sorting food and toys for over 400 people in the area who otherwise would go without anything special in the time of celebration.

Hartman and her volunteers spent many hours getting toy bags ready for delivery, including for an unusually high number of young children – nearly 35 at the last estimate.

Barbies, blocks, puzzles and craft kits were piled high in Christmas For Everyone’s staging area until early this week when giant red bags are filled for local firefighter to deliver.

While most of the people in need have contacted Lambton County Social Services and the food bank, Hartman says a few people were still calling in last week to see if they could be included.

“There have been a lot of late applications this year,” says Hartman “more so this year than ever.

“They say they didn’t think they would need it or they just got laid off.”

The last few days of the Christmas for everyone are hectic, says Hartman, with food boxes being packed at New Life Assembly and firefighters from as far away as Grand Bend and Watford receiving packages to deliver around the county. Christmas For Everyone helps people in every part of Lambton County with the exceptions of Sarnia, Camlachie and St. Clair Township.

After months of work, Hartman’s friends tease her that she’s one of Santa’s elves. “I tell them, ‘No, at this point, I’m more like Santa!’” she says with a laugh.

“I love what I do because I know the need is there. My kids were recipients so if I needed it anyone could need it.

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