Lots of toys and books and games fill the toy rooms at the Shuswap Family Centre, but there are not as many parents as usual.
Executive director Patricia Thurston said the 2020 Family-to-Family Christmas Gift campaign for children and youth has been very successful thanks to the community’s generosity.
She noted that the fire halls’ toy drive was really helpful, plus Snowbirds who usually head south for the winter have stayed in town this year so there’s been more financial support for the campaign.
However, the flow of parents coming in to get gifts for their kids has been a little slower than usual. The campaign is intended to provide gifts for kids 19 and under from families who are currently experiencing hardships.
This year the campaign was stretched out for more days in order to reduce the number of people coming in at once. Adults still have until 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 24 to pick up presents. Gifts can be picked up Dec. 22, 23 and 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
One room is filled with gifts for teens, one room has presents suitable for infants to 12 year olds. A third room contains a large selection of books and stocking stuffers.
Each child will receive a gift, a stocking stuffer and a book provided by the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society and the Shuswap Children’s Association.
The Adopt-A-Family program, where businesses or individuals who wanted to support a family in need at Christmas would provide funds, has also gone well. Because of the pandemic and the wish to reduce the number of people in stores, volunteers went out to buy the items.
Thurston said if there are gifts left over on Dec. 25, they never go to waste.
Depending on what remains, donations can go to day cares or other centres. They can also be used for birthdays and special occasions for families the centre serves.
“It all goes back to the community,” she assured.