Someone You Know – The Work Behind the Creation of the Revelstoke Christmas Hampers

The annual Red Apple Toy Drive netted thousands of dollars worth of product. Various businesses and groups in town have held, or are holding, collections for food, pajamas, sock tosses, teddy bears, or hygiene items. Individuals have handmade clothing. The Royal Bank, Revelstoke Credit Union, and Toronto Dominion Bank are collecting gifts for seniors. Columbia Park Elementary has a Giving Tree, and the Sutton Place Hotel is decorated in all its Christmas Tree Pageant competition glory. Dentists are donating toothbrushes and Revelstoke Peoples Pharmacy has the shampoo. Revelstoke Powder Rentals just dropped of 250 lbs of food. It’s Christmas time, and Revelstoke is ready to give to the Community Connections food bank and Christmas hamper program.

“The giving in Revelstoke to those in need in the holidays expands every year, which is wonderful,” says Patti Larson, the Director for Community Connections Outreach and Development team. “At Red Apple, for example, they expanded their accepted donations to include pajamas, food, and personal care items. It makes the toy drive bigger and better.”
The basement of the Legion, which hosts the Community Connections food bank and Christmas Hamper program, is open six days a week, from 10 am -3 pm. Donations are laid out across the tables with care, ready to go home and be gifted on Christmas day. Though the toys may be gifts, Christmas Hampers have already started to fly out the door.

“We give them out as people need them,” Larson explains. Those people, if it isn’t

you, could be your friends, neighbours, or co workers.

Patti Larson of Community Connections works quietly and tirelessly behind the scenes.

With plenty of moving parts, Larson has her hands full keeping it all running smoothly. Cash donations are always vital, it allows Larson to purchase bulk orders of necessary foods (which are not always donated but do fill up the shelves) at lesser prices.

“Staff at Cronometer helped unpack three skids of food the food bank purchased,” says Larson. “When we purchase bulk, we can buy things like peanut butter in large quantities for reduced prices.”

Last year, volunteers put together 180 hampers, in addition to all regular food bank use. Larson anticipates a similar number will be utilized this year.

“This time of year is tough for people financially,” says Larson. “We have our regular clients, and winter always brings in those whose bills have escalated with the season, like heating their homes, which tips them over the edge into needing help.”

Donated, hand knit goods.

If you, or someone you know is in need of a little extra help over the holidays, you can contact Community Connections.

“These are Revelstoke seniors, families and individuals,” says Larson. “If you need help, there is no judgement. We don’t turn people away.”

Today, the Holiday Train will be rolling through town. A major part of the Christmas Hamper and Food Bank donations come from this event. Cash donations will be accepted, as well as non perishable foods. The Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services will be on hand to serve hot dogs, Starbucks has donated hot chocolates, and Santa (who has plenty of candy canes at the ready) will be making an appearance. Get out and enjoy a memorable experience while helping Community Connections ensure everyone in Revelstoke feels cared for and has a merry Christmas.

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