Kai and Julia with help from mom Ashley and dad Matthew, gave out 200 bags of home cooked goodies. (Facebook)

Kai and Julia with help from mom Ashley and dad Matthew, gave out 200 bags of home cooked goodies. (Facebook)

Penticton family hands out 200 treat bags to neighbours

The Smethursts are also making Christmas meals for anyone who needs it

It took two days, three trips with wagons and two excited kids to deliver 200 treat bags and some much-needed holiday cheer to Penticton neighbourhoods.

The random act of kindness took place on Nov. 22 and 23 by the Smethurst family of four who went all around their neighbourhood, dropping off bags full of home-cooked cookies, kettle corn and more, just to spread some joy when people might need it the most.

“We did this last year but only on our street,” said Ashley Smethurst, mom and organizer of the random acts of kindness.

This time they did 200 goodie baskets with four different treats inside, a bag of reindeer chow, a bag of kettle corn, two chocolate chip cookies each and a rice crispy square.

“My kids loved doing it,” she said. “By the end all our legs were sore and we were exhausted!”

“Christmas is about giving and this year is definitely important to put smiles on faces. Our family enjoy the feeling of giving,” said Smethurst. “Doing something for others warms your heart.”

The Smethursts family photo 2020.

The Smethursts family photo 2020.

It was Ashley, her husband Matthew, son Kai and daughter Julia who handed out the treats to homes. The response was one of cheer, some thanking the Smethursts for brightening their day and outlook on this difficult year.

One person said “thank you so much for this special treat, so yummy too. I swear my heart grew sizes.”

Another person said they would carry the kindness forward.

The Smethursts plan on spreading even more cheer this holiday season.

Maybe you remember this family from last December when they invited strangers into their home to spend Christmas with them. Ashley took to several Penticton Facebook pages asking anyone who would otherwise spend Christmas alone to join their family.

READ MORE: Family opens home to strangers for Christmas

“We wanted to invite people to Christmas dinner again this year, but obviously that can’t happen,” she added.

This year, due to COVID-19 measures, the dinner will be take home only.

Last year, they had a couple people join them in their home for Christmas dinner and they also fed 56 people with take home dinners. They will be offering take home dinners again this year.

So how does she make all those meals?

Ashley loves to cook and her husband used to work as a chef.

“We use our oven and our neighbour’s Nanna Dee to make all the Christmas meals.”

“2020 might be a horrible year but our spirits are still high, opening our hearts and bringing some cheer.”

If you have a family member, a neighbour in need of a Christmas meal, please feel welcome to pick up a dinner for them as well as for yourself, she said.

“Let those who need it know or those hungry, or those who are just plain lonely or don’t want to cook a big meal for one or two people… share the love, share the season and fill up some bellies… Everyone has a story, a past and a future. Let’s leave no one out.”

Ashley will be posting the dinner menu at the beginning of December and they already have some friends chipping in to make goodies to hand out to neighbourhoods.

“Please don’t be afraid to message me so we have an idea how much to make for Christmas.”

You can contact Ashley Smethurst on her Facebook page.

COVID safety measures will be in place at all times, she said.

“No one deserves to be alone or hungry on Christmas,” Ashley said.

READ MORE: Community saves Zippy, the dog



monique.Tamminga@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From left, city workers Hugh Bennett, Chris Carr and Teneal Crossman secure the fountain they’ve just removed from McGuire Lake back in October 2020 before the ice moved in. (File photo)
Salmon Arm, CUPE local reach five-year deal with city staff, RCMP clerks

Agreement includes two per cent wage hike for each of five years in agreement

RCMP cruiser
Residents help RCMP track fleeing driver in North Shuswap

Police stop vehicle with spike belt, Chase man arrested

(THE NEWS – files)
Snowy days ahead for the Okanagan and Shuswap

The region could get up to 5 cm by Thursday

Interior Health was conducting contact tracing among school communities at Shuswap Middle School and Sorrento Elementary in response to potential exposures to COVID-19 between Jan. 18 and 19. (Shuswap Middle School/Facebook)
Positive COVID-19 tests confirmed at Shuswap Middle School, Sorrento Elementary

Interior Health conducting contact tracing among both school communities

Trent (left) and Treyden (right) are two of the students in the Mountain Bike Academy getting underway in February, taught by Salmon Arm Secondary’s Chris Stromgren (middle). (School District 83 photo)
Salmon Arm Secondary Mountain Bike Academy ready to roll

Course will help develop students’ riding and leadership skills

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

An anonymous donor gave the Salmon Arm Museum this image in 1987. Is it the Sperry SRS 199 (Doodlebug)? Inquiring minds would like to know. Email archives@salmonarmmuseum.org. Image courtesy the Archives at R.J. Haney Heritage Village and Museum
Shuswap history in pictures: Doodlebug?

Image donated to museum in 1987

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

The Abbotsford Tulip Festival is permanently closing, with plans to eventually set up in Armstrong, B.C. (Abbotsford News file photo)
Abbotsford Tulip Festival is closing, with plans to rebloom in Armstrong

Event organizer says pandemic and sale of land were factors in decision

Most Read