Christmas Hamper Project serves 31 families

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"Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus."
And I don't just mean the one dressed in a red suit with a white beard.
I am talking about the folks living in this generous community. The caring and giving of our Three Hills residents proves we live in a wonderful place.
This year Pat Dau was asked to coordinate the Christmas Hamper project—assisted by Barb Rosgen, Donna Desrosiers, and Evelyn Mclean—former co-workers from Pat's days in the hotel industry. None of us had experience with the Food Bank or the Christmas Hamper project but we learned as we went, thanks to guidance from Pastor Sweis Ubels, Staci Trentham (former coordinator from the Royal Purple) and David Nadeau, food bank manager.
It takes many people and many hours to complete a project of this magnitude.
We are grateful to the Royal Purple ladies, who headed the project for the past four years. They willingly shared their knowledge and helped when needed. We acknowledge the contribution by the United Church ladies who helped fill hampers, the ladies from the Church of the Latter-day Saints who wrapped every gift, the Ghost Pine 4-H Beef Club who helped fill boxes, and the Three Hills 4-H Wranglers who cleaned the warehouse when we were done.
Many others collected food at the schools, shopped for children's gifts, knitted toques, mittens and scarves, and came to help with whatever was needed. IGA management and staff made numerous trips to the warehouse to deliver boxes and food.
You all made our job so much easier and we are truly thankful. Our 60 volunteers put in approximately 270 hours of work—time given from the heart.
There were also generous donations from several oil and gas companies, as well as from many individuals too numerous to list. Without this support, Christmas for those who truly need help simply would not be a reality.
This year, we prepared 31 Christmas hampers.
That meant approximately 220 boxes of food and gifts were delivered December 18 by six volunteer drivers and their helpers. Santa even made an appearance and brightened the day for some little ones. Last year, 38 hampers were delivered, so it is hopefully a sign that the Three Hills economy is improving.
When first asked to head the Christmas hamper project this year, we had no idea of the need in our community. Once we realized how many families would not have a merry Christmas without a little help, it quickly became a gratifying and joyful activity.