Christmas hamper program heaped in generosity

In the true spirit of giving, the local Salvation Army once again has seen Fort Frances being a most generous community when it comes to donations to its annual Christmas hamper program.
Capt. Eric Alcock said Monday that volunteers have been working hard to pack up the hampers, which are stuffed with donated food and toys, to get them ready for pickup this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
“We have about 240 families who’ve applied—a little more than last year,” he remarked.
“The donations have been good. We always have to order some groceries from Safeway, but this year, the giving has been good,” Capt. Alcock said.
“As good as last year, which was our best year so far.”
The Salvation Army has seen generous donations again this year, such as a $6,000 cheque from the Canadian Tire Foundation for Families program, local workplaces and residents “adopting” some 70 families and gathering items to make their own hampers for the needy, and local churches like St. Mary’s collecting toys for children.
Last Friday, students from Robert Moore School and Fort Frances High School turned over thousands of non-perishable items.
“There’s a whole lot of them,” said Capt. Alcock, adding it was hard to pick out all the contributors when everyone seems so generous.
“And there’s always the last-minute surprises,” he noted.
In related news, the Christmas kettle program, which kicked off last Wednesday, continues today through Saturday, and then next Monday and Tuesday (Dec. 23-24).
While it was too early to guess at how much money has been taken in so far, Capt. Alcock said “it’s looking better than last year.”
The kettle campaign raised some $15,000 in 2001.