There are empty boxes waiting to be filled and modest piles of food in an empty space in the Smithers Mall.
With just 13 days to go until Christmas, the space is occupied by the 29th edition of the Smithers and Moricetown Christmas Hamper campaign and co-ordinators Elsbeth Fielding and Emily McGiffin hope to exceed last year’s donations.
Not because of greed, but because of need.
Last year the campaign collected enough food and cash to fill 320 hampers to help more than 1,100 residents of Moricetown, Smithers and Telkwa.
This year, there are 200 applications already in hand with a week to go before the deadline.
Fielding, arrived in Smithers from Yellowknife, NWT a short four months ago, but she’s already dipped her toes into community service.
“I’ve always been involved with non-profit organizations, so I thought the skills I have would be useful,” Fielding said.
“It feels good to help people who need help,” Fielding said.
Although donations of all dried goods are most welcome, Fielding explained there are some foods that tend to be neglected by donors.
“Peanut butter cooking oil and boxed cereals tend to be the items required, but typically not an obvious choice from the donor’s point of view, Fielding said.
Community service is also part of McGiffin’s experience, having worked on a housing project for Smithers Community Services.
That experience, McGiffin said, made her decision to work at the Christmas Hamper an easy one.
“It’s a great program and a great organization to work with,” she said.
“I really enjoy doing this.”
The depot, next to the ScotiaBank is open Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The last day for donation is December 22.
For information call 250-847-4494, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.