By Steve Hubrecht
Christmas cheer will continue in the valley well into the future, thanks to an outpouring of volunteer support in recent weeks for the Christmas Bureau.
The board of the Christmas Bureau of the Columbia Valley would like to thank the community for answering our call for help, said bureau chair Helen Wynder. We managed to have 14 new volunteers join our society so we can once again supply gift food cards and angel gifts along with gift boxes to those in need in our communities.
The charitable society has been brightening Christmas for valley families in need for more than 20 years, but most of the societys current volunteers are elderly and not as readily able to fill the roles as they once were. Last month, the society had sounded the alarm bell, warning it was in dire straits and would fold after this year if it could not attract new volunteers.
The bell was answered, and the society now has 27 members including the new volunteers, which Ms. Wynder said was simply fantastic.
A great sigh of relief went out from the older members of the society when we walked into the first meeting and saw all the new faces ready to take up such an important cause. We have always believed it is important to look after our friends and neighbours in their time in need. The new volunteers showed up and went to work, she said. We have now completed our funding campaign by flooding the valley with letters of request for sponsors to come and adopt a family or individual with funding the food cards and supplying a gift box to say Merry Christmas.
Each year the Christmas Bureau distributes its traditional Christmas hampers (this year, just as last year, the hamper will consist of food gifts cards) and angel gifts.
The bureau is ready to receive applications. Those in need can fill them out and hand them in to the Invermere Family Resource Centre, the Columbia Valley employment centre, the Social Services office, the village office in Canal Flats, the Shuswap band office and the Akisqnuk band office.
To learn more, contact the bureau through its new email address (firstname.lastname@example.org), by mail at Box 2595, Invermere, BC V0K 1K0, or you can reach Ms. Wynder at 250-342-6789.