Rosemary Graham, a nurse practitioner who volunteers for Manna, on Dec. 14. (Cloe Logan photo)

Manna hands out gift cards to those in need in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Volunteers say it makes a big difference during the holidays

It was a warm and festive Saturday morning at the Manna Mobile Care Unit.

Every Saturday, Manna has a meet up where people can get food and necessary items, but this week they also handed out gift cards — a special treat for those in need. The Qualicum Beach Sunrise Rotary Club was also out serving warm porridge.

Rosemary Graham, a nurse practitioner who volunteers for Manna, said handing out the gift cards makes a big difference for people.

READ MORE: Parksville’s Manna embarks on spring bike-share campaign

“We had a wonderful donation of some McDonalds gift cards and when I give that out I ask people to pay it forward and take somebody else for coffee,” said Graham. “A lot of people are just really touched with the ability to share some Christmas spirit and be kind to somebody else.”

They also handed out gift cards to Quality Foods, which she said allows people to treat themselves to things they might not normally get the chance to — like a Christmas turkey.

“It’s nice because it’s very specific and it’s local businesses,” she said. “It just feels really good.”

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The Qualicum Beach Sunrise Rotary Club handing out porridge on Dec. 14. From left: Douglas Arbo, Bill Duckenfield, Deanna Brenneman and Arlene Costigan. (Cloe Logan photo)

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