From left: Kim Bryceland and Brooke Chase search for toys for a School District 69 (Qualicum) family while volunteering for the All They Want for Christmas giving project during a hamper sorting day on Dec. 12. — Adam Kveton Photo

More Parksville Qualicum school families to get hampers this Christmas

School district, business giving project exceeds last year’s total

The All They Want for Christmas giving project will be able to help even more families than last year after a strong fundraising effort and support from the community and businesses.

Organized by Virginia Worcester of Borealis Hair, Nail and Body Bar and School District 69 (Qualicum), the hamper program, which provides groceries, toys, clothes and hygiene products to families in need, will support 125 families made up of more than 425 people this year, said Rollie Koop, SD69’s superintendent.

That’s up from 110 families last year.

“Thanks to the generosity of our friends and the community, we have met our fundraising and donation targets,” he said, allowing organizers to provide recreation passes and tailored gifts for children as well.

The All They Want for Christmas project raised money through a tapas and live music event in November at Giovanni’s Ristorante and Lounge, and also took in donations, including Q Points, with Quality Foods matching the donations.

“Once again the folks at Quality Foods have stepped up in a big way to multiply the impact of our fundraising efforts when it comes to providing staple groceries and gift cards that will help carry some families through the winter vacation,” said Koop.

He also thanked “quiet supporters who have chosen to once again support our efforts to make a difference in the lives of SD69 students and their families this Christmas.”

Now, volunteers have the job of putting together the hampers in a pair of sorting nights, the first of which took place Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Qualicum Commons.

Clothing, toys, books and hygiene products were stacked high, with volunteers poring through the items to collect just he right ones for each family.

The families to receive hampers are referred by their child’s school.

“I think we did a really good job this year,” Worcester said as she kept busy at the sorting night. “Lots of toys and lots of clothes, and we were able to get the individual gifts for each specific child.”

Asked how she feels as she packs up presents and clothes for so many people in need, Worcester said, “It’s heartwarming — it makes you feel good to be able to help so many families. And sad that there are so many families that need help.”

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