Even though the weather has been more spring like than November, there are still people thinking about Christmas.
Sandra Hartman and the volunteers at Christmas for Everyone are sorting through toys and accepting applications for this year’s Christmas Hampers.
Hartman says this year Christmas for Everyone worked with the County of Lambton to distribute request forms for the food and toy hampers with Ontario Works information. That went out at the end of October and its already reaping results.
The first week, 100 people applied. Monday another 40 people came asking for help.
“It is really helping speed up the process,” she says.
But she says the beautiful weather isn’t helping. “I love the warm weather…but it is frustrating for me because without the cold weather, people forget about us.”
Hartman says they are still looking for toys, particular for pre-teens.
“I tell people anything over the age of 10, male or female, we need. Not so much for the littlest ones but it’s the older kids we need help with.
“I tell them card games, board games and gift cards are the best thing because they’re not likely going to find toys for that age.”
As they look for toys and collect food for the hampers, Hartman is expecting to have to fill over boxes for over 400 families in Petrolia and Central Lambton. That’s about how many have been need over each of the last three years and the need is just as great. “Just last week, there were four new families who came in for help,” she says. “The economy is not as good as people think.”
“There’s still a part of me that will hope it is not as busy.”
Applications for food and toy hampers are being accepted until Nov. 23 and the distribution is Dec. 17.
Donations can be dropped off at at the Petrolia Food Bank at 4156 Petrolia Line in the rear of the building.
A number of community groups will be hosting fundraisers for Christmas for Everyone including Christ Church annual Chili Lunch this Friday and the Petrolia Rotary’s Christmas for Everyone Soup Luncheon Dec. 1.