More elves needed to help Okanagan and Shuswap families this Christmas | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon News

More elves needed to help Okanagan and Shuswap families this Christmas

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The team behind Project Christmas Elf is looking for more generous sponsors to meet the demand of every family that asks for help in the Shuswap, Kelowna and Vernon.

Project Christmas Elf is a grassroots organization that helps less fortunate families have a special Christmas and relies on donations to make it happen. Donors get paired anonymously with a family, knowing only the age and gender of each member, along with a wish list.

Amanda Wilms is serving as the co-ordinator of the organization for her first year. She said 90 families have registered and three days after opening applications she had to put a pause on taking new ones. There are about 50 families on the wait list and not enough sponsors yet for the first 90 families.

“Families are really grateful, thankful and humbled by the support,” Wilms said. “Project Christmas Elf really helps parents to make the holidays special for their kids, and other family members.”

Most of those in need are families of four or five, she said, and the largest has been eight. The serves people living in the Vernon, Kelowna and Shuswap areas. 

While many single parents receive support for the program, there is also a significant number of two-parent families who also need help, Wilms said.

The organization came together in 2016 in response to a Kijiji ad. A local mom was reaching out for help over the holidays and after a group of people came together to make sure her family was taken care of, they decided to make it an annual effort.

“We’re not a charity or non profit, just a community group that comes together at Christmas and adopts families in need,” Wilms said.

To adopt a family or find out more information about the group, visit Project Christmas Elf’s Facebook group. Wilms can also be reached through her personal Facebook account.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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