Volunteers at Winchelsea Place in Parksville load food and other items for Christmas hampers through last year’s All They Want for Christmas program. Fundraising for this year’s Christmas hamper project is now underway. — File Photo

Volunteers at Winchelsea Place in Parksville load food and other items for Christmas hampers through last year’s All They Want for Christmas program. Fundraising for this year’s Christmas hamper project is now underway. — File Photo

Fundraising started for Christmas hampers for 100 families

Annual project holding tapas, music evening at Giovanni’s in Qualicum Beach

It’s been 21 years since Virginia Worcester and Borealis Hair, Nail and Body Bar began providing Christmas hampers for three or four families.

Now, working with School District 69 (Qualicum), the All They Want for Christmas project gives groceries, oral hygiene products, pyjamas and gifts for children to 100 families in need each year.

The volunteers are hoping to do that again this year with a tapas and live music event at Giovanni’s Ristorante and Lounge on Friday, Nov. 10.

The event will feature Italian-inspired tapas, and music from Eddie and the Funk, which is donating its time and talent to support the cause.

There will also be a live auction featuring unique experience packages, and draw prizes for those who donate cash, Q Points or gift certificates at the door.

While the tickets for the event have already sold out, Worcester noted there are other ways people can help.

“People can donate their Q Points,” she said. “(Quality Foods) matches the points, and that’s how we’re able to buy all those groceries and food. So people can donate to ‘Christmas — Rollie and Virginia’ at QF… and if they want to make a cash donation, they can donate at Borealis (222 W. Second Ave. in Qualicum Beach).

“Every little bit helps.”

Worcester estimated that providing a Christmas hamper to a family costs about $250. With 100 families to support (all identified through their children’s schools and helped anonymously), there is plenty of money to raise.

Asked how she feels about how many families the project has helped over the years, Worcester said, “It’s amazing that we’re able to help that many people, but I guess in the same sense it’s sad that there’s that many people in need. And I’m sure the 100 that we’re helping is a very small tip of the iceberg, because every year there are so many more families we wish we could help but can’t.

“I think the need is just growing stronger and stronger in the area.”