Empty Storage Fund – Hope Reaches the Community with Family Programs and Holidays

“I definitely have good vibes about this Christmas. I think it’s going to be a great year.”

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As one of the regions affected by the floods, Hope relies more than ever on community resources.


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“We have more people signed up for the Christmas baskets,” said Dianne McDonnell. McDonnell is the food bank coordinator for Hope Community Services. “Hundreds more. Fortunately, people have been very, very generous to us. We have received many donations. “

Instead of the December food bank, the group holds what it calls Holly Days. Provide people with toys and Christmas baskets.

Readers who donate to the Province’s Empty Stock Fund have a direct impact on organizations like Hope Community Services.

“Oh my gosh, it helps immensely,” McDonnell said. The funds go towards grocery gift cards.

“We buy one for each man, woman, child and baby in the house. We used to buy a lot, a lot of food to fill these baskets. But we decided it was a lot of work. And gift cards bring dignity to recipients. If we have it, we provide turkey or ham. This year we will be giving out more gift cards so people can buy theirs. “


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The toys are donated by people in the community and through the Lower Mainland Christmas Office.

“We also noticed this year that people from outside the community are also donating to us. 1,200 people were stranded here for a few days. And they have been very generous to Hope. “

Colette Fisher has been using Hope Community Services since moving to the city from Abbotsford four years ago.

“Oh, I love them,” said the mother of three girls and a boy, ages 11 to one.

In addition to operating the food bank, Hope Community Services also runs several programs, including Hope Family Place for parents and children 10 and older and Better Beginnings for parents and infants.

“When we first moved here, I started bringing the older children there. I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet some of the moms and introduce the kids to the other kids in the area. “


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Fisher has also been able to bring home items such as toilet paper, diapers, toothbrushes, and clothing.

“I’ll go in and someone will say, ‘Oh, someone left that. What size is your son? “

This is the first year he has signed up for their vacation program.

“I’ll be able to get some extra gifts for the kids and a small basket,” said Fisher, who works as a duty manager at one of the city’s motels.

She is also enrolled in an online digital marketing program that continues through June.

Your kids’ holiday lists include Barbies, video games, and lipstick.

“I think they can help me achieve these things. During spring break, after COVID struck for the first time, one of the girls said, “We have some leftover Christmas presents in a room, why don’t you grab some things?” One of the children received a new bicycle with a helmet and a lock. I almost fall. “What do you mean by this left over from Christmas?”

“I definitely have a good vibes about this Christmas. I think it’s going to be a great year. “



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