Lori Fleming, left, Mike Sterling of Sunrise Ford and Ev Fleming posed by some of the 300 or so Local Christmas Shoebox donations they had just unloaded with other volunteers at the Loaves and Fishes Outreach on Nov. 16, to be included in local Christmas Hampers. Carole Rooney photo.

Christmas Shoebox gathers gifts

Donations will boost holiday hampers for local families in need

The Local Christmas Shoebox Program has once again come together into a huge pile of gift-wrapped presents for hampers handed out to local families in need.

Program organizers Lori Fleming and Ev Fleming collect hundreds of donations each year, and also hold fundraisers, such as garage sales, whenever they can manage them.

“When Loaves and Fishes gives out the food hampers, we give out the gifts to go along with that,” explains Lori. “We work all year, collecting stuff and buying stuff, and people donate.”

Volunteers such as Kim Louie, her friend Earle Topnik, and Donna Land moved the gifts from the Flemming’s houses to the 108 Community Hall where they were wrapped.

Supporters, such as Sunrise Ford owner Leon Chretien and employee Mike Sterling helped transport the more than 300 gift-wrapped donations from the 108 Community Hall over to the Loaves and Fishes Outreach in 100 Mile House.

The Flemings appreciate the donations as well as the dozen or so volunteers who helped them this year, whether with the gift wrapping and packing donations into bins and boxes, or with the transport of the many loads of gifts from one storage place to another, Lori adds.

She says 2017 saw about the same success as last year’s shoebox program, which also saw more than 300 gifts gathered and donated to Loaves and Fishes to then be handed out in their hampers.

Loaves and Fishes society president Trudy Endacott was on site as the last load of gifts were unloaded from the volunteers’ various trucks and cars on Nov. 16.

She expresses her gratitude for the “awesome” amount of donations to boost the food hampers with toys and other Christmas presents for local families and individuals in need.

“We really appreciate it – everybody gets a gift, which is really nice,” says Trudy.”We usually have more than we need.”

Donations to the program are welcome all year long – whether the contributions are of gifts or of cash for the Flemings to buy gifts with – by contacting Lori at 250-397-2010 or Ev at 250-791-6232.

More information can be found on Facebook, under 100 Mile Locally Distributed Christmas Shoebox Program.

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