December 22, 2015 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - While you busily prepare your Christmas baking, make last-minute shopping trips, and hastily wrap all your presents, Kamloops charitable organizations want to remind you of those less fortunate this holiday season.
These five organizations in Kamloops will be hosting Christmas meals and need your help.
JUMP program and St. Vincent de Paul Society
The Kamloops JUMP program will host Christmas Day and Boxing Day dinners in collaboration with the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the Cost Savers Thrift Store, 185 Tranquille Rd.
In addition to two dinners, the group is planning a free produce market and clothing exchange for guests, Glenn Hilke program coordinator with JUMP says.
“We can use help in a number in a number of ways,” Hilke says, adding JUMP wishes to create an entire Christmas experience. “We need volunteers Wednesday and Thursday to decorate the space as well as to do food prep."
Volunteers are needed to cut vegetables, prepare turkeys as well as wrap Christmas gifts.
Not only does Hilke need volunteers to help serve food and clean up both days, but volunteers are also needed to assist with both the produce market and clothing exchange.
The dinners will be served at 4 p.m. but doors open at 1 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering can phone Hilke at 250-879-0465 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to help but aren’t available either day, he says his organization is still looking for turkeys or people can make an e-transfer of a donation of their choice through his email.
The JUMP program is a weekly meal program operated for and by people with physical and mental disabilities.
ASK Wellness and Northcott’s New And Used
ASK Wellness, in conjunction with Northcott’s New and Used, will be hosting a Boxing Day Dinner at the Odd Fellows Hall at 423 Tranquille Rd.
This dinner is expect to feed between 150 and 200 people, Dale Northott, owner of the new and used and Peer Mentor with ASK Wellness, says.
With help from Papa John’s and Gary’s Deli, Northcott will be serving a bit of a non-traditional holiday dinner that includes sausages, perogies and pizza.
He says while they have most of the volunteers needed to host the dinner, they are looking for donations of winter clothes to hand out during the event.
“We need socks and gloves, even blankets, any warm material really,” Northcott says.
Anyone willing to donate can drop off items at either ASK Wellness or Northcott’s New and Used.
New Life Community Kamloops
The New Life Community Kamloops will host a Christmas Eve luncheon, between 1 and 3 p.m., that is expected to feed nearly 200 people.
While New Life has a full list of volunteers for the meal, outreach manager Regan Wilson says there are other ways Kamloops residents can help clients of the centre.
The annual Christmas Campaign is a fundraising initiative that helps keep New Life open days like Christmas Day and allows the centre to continue its collection of programs, including a hair salon, dental clinic and computer repair shop.
Wilson says the centre is always looking for warm winter clothing, especially gloves and long johns.
Donations to New Life can be made through their website and donations of clothing can dropped off at the centre at 181 Victoria St.
Salvation Army Community Church
The Salvation Army Community Church at 344 Poplar St. will be hosting its annual dinner Christmas Day.
While the dinner has most of the volunteers it needs, intake and assessment worker Melissa Rose Collick says they are still needing food.
Salvation Army employees will be at the community church until noon on Dec. 24 to accept all food donations.
In addition to the dinner, Collick says the Salvation Army is running both its Adopt a Family program, where you can buy a food hamper and a couple gifts for a needy family, and the kettle campaign this holiday season.
Anyone interested in donating to the Salvation Army can visit their website.
Kamloops YMCA – YWCA Y Women's Shelter
YWCA women’s shelter hosts a Christmas dinner every year for all its residents staying in the Y house.
Because of safety and confidentiality concerns the shelter does not allow volunteers to help with the dinner, instead it’s done completely by staff, general manager Michele Walker says.
What the shelter needs help with this Christmas are gifts, new items, for women and children staying in the house. She says there is a list of most desirable items located on the website and they can be dropped off at an Y location.
In addition to Christmas gifts, Walker says the shelter needs roughly $100,000 to function the same way every year.
“We really need our community to support us with financial donations,” she says.
For more information on donations, visit the shelter's website.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at email@example.com or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-2724.
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