Last year, Pastor Steve Pederson of Church on the Hill went door-to-door, dropping off Christmas hampers to the needy in Logan Lake. He brought along his three children, aged 5, 9 and 11.
“It was just a nice opportunity to teach my kids about helping others and letting them see that there are people who have very little money, and try to teach them that Christmas isn’t about being greedy and what Santa’s going to give but also helping others.”
The food bank in the small town southwest of Kamloops distributes hampers to about 70 households per month. The population is just over 2,200 people.
At Christmas, the Logan Lake Food Bank gives out seasonal hampers and toys. It’s one of 26 B.C. community organizations that receives funds from The Province’s Empty Stocking Fund. Readers are encouraged to donate by one of the methods noted at the end of this article.
As with other B.C. food banks, Logan Lake’s is seeing an increase in registrants this year over last.
“Every second week we have another new household that’s signing up for our food bank,” Pederson said. “Lots of people are being affected by the economy and with the price of food going up. It’s affected us as well. If we were spending $1,000 in a month last year, we’re probably spending $500 more per month now.”
Last year at Christmas they gave out toys and gifts to 63 kids.
“We make sure that every single child under the age of 18 gets something. We’ll give teenagers gift cards, iTunes or Amazon or something like that, because they’re a little bit harder to find gifts for. Then for kids we give out dolls, Nerf guns, you name it. We try to we make sure that it’s all age appropriate.”
Pederson plans on delivering the hampers personally again this year, although likely not with his children. The school year doesn’t end until the 23rd.
The seniors were especially welcoming, he says. “They get super excited at seeing kids being a part of this. People are very appreciative.”
His five-year-old had a lot of questions, he recalls. “And there was the excitement of going to other people’s homes and dropping a hamper off at their door and saying Merry Christmas.”
It was an opportunity for Pederson to talk to his nine-year-old son about the fact that “they’re lucky that they have a mom and dad that both have employment and that we’re able to afford some things and why we don’t necessarily buy them everything that they want.”
And the oldest was initially skeptical. “He was like, ‘Why are we doing this?’ Near the end though he was learning that it was about serving and helping others and having a giving spirit. And sacrificing a little bit of your own time.”
The 2023 campaign will run until Dec. 31. Donations can be made:
Online at: https://theprovince.com/esf
By mail to: The Province Empty Stocking Fund
968 East Cordova Street,
Vancouver, B.C., V6A 1M6
By calling: 604-253-6911
2023 Direct donation link