This year was another big year for the Strathmore & Wheatland County Christmas Hamper Society (SWCHS).
Marilyn Galvin, Chair of SWCHS said this year the team put together 274 food hampers and 347 toy hampers which was still under what they had budgeted for the year.
"We still had to purchase a fair number of toys because they were depleted from last year, but we managed to do that because we had some very generous monetary donations which saved us because our food donations were down about 60% this year. So, we had to buy most of the food that we needed for the hampers."
Many were able to pick up their hampers, but Galvin did say that they needed a little extra help this year for deliveries.
"We even had our own Strathmore Fire Department deliver some hampers where people couldn't come because of different reasons, vehicle troubles, sickness, or something. So, whoever we got ahold of they were able to deliver which was wonderful."
Deliveries and pickups were completed on December 16 and 17, Galvin explained this year it was great to see so much extra help as they were joined by many volunteers and on their big pack day the accounting team from Gregory Harriman and Associates came in to help, she also said that they had a friend's and family night which brought in a lot of young volunteers.
"Lots of kids came in and help their parents and they really truly enjoyed that, I had many of them say to me that this is a lot of work. Getting more of the younger generation out this year was wonderful. They helped a lot right up till yesterday to help clean up as well, I was so grateful."
This year the team packed the hampers at the Ag grounds and Galvin said that as they are heading into 2023 the current building for their toy storage has been sold and now, they are looking at having to move to a new facility. Galvin explained that they have a couple of prospects to look into at the beginning of January but are desperately seeking a new space.
For those who may have leads on a space they can reach out to SWCHS via email at Christmashampersociety@gmail.com.
Galvin noted that they did not get as many requests for hampers this year as they thought but that doesn't mean that the need is not there in our community and that the hampers would not have been possible without all of the generosity from the community.
"I'd like to say one big thank you. There's too many to list names, I don't want to forget anybody, but the support we received this year for monetary donations really helped us and it will help us going forward with our new location and things like that. We cannot do it without the support of Strathmore, Wheatland County and afar."
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