Community responds to make Christmas for Everyone

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Sandra Hartman says the generosity of Petrolians has restored her faith in Christmas again.
Hartman spearheads Christmas for Everyone – a program which will give 400 families food and toys in Central Lambton this Christmas. And, she says, sometimes it is a struggle because donations simply don’t come in.
In September, Christmas 2019 seemed like it could be even more of a challenge after a flood in the storage area destroyed thousands of dollars worth of toys. But Hartman says the community responded in a big way.
“It’s been pretty great,” she says. “A lot of the community really stepped up.”
Hartman says last year “it was a struggle because donations were low and then it gets hard to do my job.”
After the flood, community groups, businesses, churches and citizens started toy drives for the Christmas effort.
Today, there are piles of toys for small children ready to be packed into boxes and delivered by firefighters the week before Christmas.
“It’s restored my faith in Christmas again,” Hartman says.
The program is still in need however. Hartman says while the “little kids will get spoiled” there are still few gifts for teenagers.
Often teens want electronics for Christmas, and that is out of the reach of Christmas for Everyone.
But Hartman says they’ve had great response from the teens since they started giving out gift cards. She says the cards allow the teens to go out and shop for themselves or even buy online.
She’s hoping the community will donate the cards before Dec. 9 to be included in the gift hampers. They can be dropped off at the food bank or The Independent.