Hampers hit the mark

Last minute rush of donations helps put the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program over the top.

Youth sports teams like this group joined the army of volunteers helping out the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program last week.

Last week’s urgent plea for help by the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program was called off almost as soon as it had gone out, when organizers announced enough donations had come in to meet this year’s need.

A last-minute rush of donations and support saw the program through for another year.

“We’re ok now,” said Kevin Lunder, who leads the non-denominational holiday relief program along with wife Trish. “We’ve been able to complete the hampers.”

Some 800 boxes were assembled by volunteers and ready for pick up on Dec. 15. Recipients included 250 Cloverdale families with 260 children under the age of 18, Lunder said.

The contents differed slightly from previous years, but the organization was able to meet the need.

For the first time in its 20-plus year operation, the holiday relief program for Cloverdale’s neediest residents found itself running short on donations in the food drive’s final week.

On Dec. 12, representatives issued a call for donations and cash from the community, fearing a shortfall of supplies, particularly personal care items, baby food, gifts for teenagers and cash used to purchase perishable and non-perishable food supplies to top up the hampers.

“Some may think of hampers as cute little baskets with a bow on top, but we offer each family several large boxes full in the hopes that it will get them through a couple of months,” program representative Holly Zonneveld said.

Confusion over the donation deadline was to blame for the near shortfall, Lunder said, explaining local high schools – traditionally huge supporters of the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program – mistakenly thought hamper pick up day, Dec. 15, was the deadline for donations, because they weren’t yet on break.

Donations from schools were down between 30 and 35 per cent. “It was huge. I started to panic,” he said. “The applications were still rolling in.”

Monetary donations were also down, but fortunately, the situation reversed once the alarm rang out and supporters like Jen Temple of the Trademark Group of Companies, who manages Hillcrest Village Shopping Centre, responded with a corporate donation and other assistance.

“Instead of giving to all their tenants, they made a donation to the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program,” he said. “And all of a sudden, all of the companies that do

donate, the cheques started rolling in.”

The Surrey RCMP donated an SUV full of donated items, after hosting food drive events, including one at Hillcrest mall, in response to the alarm (See “Hillcrest Patrons Pack Police Car for Local Charity,”)

Also encouraging was the army of volunteers showing up to assemble hampers at the warehouse at Pacific Community Church, ensuring the deadline was met. There were teens, youth sports teams, Brownies, Scouts and Guides helping, along with church groups and even neighbours volunteering with other residents of the same block.

“It was amazing.”

Follow the Cloverdale Reporter on Twitter and Facebook. View our print edition online.

Just Posted

Reported gunfire in Surrey Friday night

Surrey RCMP were on scene in Newton

Russell Bidesi found guilty of second-degree murder in Surrey shooting

Bidesi was charged with shooting 28-year-old Bradley McPherson in 2011

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Surrey schools saw doubling of international students from 2010 to 2017

‘We have one of the largest elementary fee-paying programs in B.C. and Canada and it continues to grow.’

VIDEO: New Pattullo Bridge expected to open in 2023

Surrey Board of Trade urges province to make the new crossing six lanes, not four

VIDEO: Major construction projects in White Rock

Parkade development now underway on waterfront

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Update: Multiple vehicle incident closes eastbound Okanagan Connector

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Late-winter snow storm blankets Lower Mainland

Some areas got up to half a foot of snow

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

Most Read