The Helping Hands Society of Grande Prairie is seeing an increased need for community support, with its Adopt-a-Family campaign reaching 380 families. Northreach Society Executive Director Dalyce Sather-McNabb says the organization had to close registration for the program early because they maxed out, with 80 more hampers needed this year than were handed out last year.
McNabb says community support is needed to make the campaign work; whether it be by adopting an entire family and filling their hamper or giving a monetary donation that will be used towards filling a hamper, every little bit helps brighten someone else in the community holidays this year.
“To make this campaign successful, what we need is our neighbours feeding neighbours and using community access to make more connections.”
She also says there will be different gift drop-off locations throughout the community this year, so those who want to can make a small contribution.
McNabb says the increase in the number of Christmas hampers needed to be filled shows the continued trend they have seen throughout the year, with inflation making things more challenging for the communities most vulnerable.
“We are feeding 10 plus families a week with the hamper program, with a waiting list that is probably close to 100 [families long]. So we are seeing so many more folks who are struggling.”
Families enrolled in the Adopt-a-Family program provide answers to a questionnaire with their favourite colour and clothing size, following the idea of something you want, something you need, and something to wear.
Adopting a family ranges in price anywhere from $425 to $1,200 and includes the cost of gifts and food. McNabb says those who enroll in the program are asked to fill out a questionnaire providing the favourite colour and clothing size of each person in the family and try to follow the idea of something they want, something they need, and something to wear. She adds that the program is for families, vulnerable individuals, and seniors.