Christmas is coming early for the Smithers Community Services Association (SCSA) this year.
Earlier this month the Smithers Masonic Hall made a $200 donation to the SCSA for its Christmas Hamper program.
Worshipful Brother James Emerton, recently installed Master of the local Masonic Lodge made the announcement outside of the building, located at 3883 4th Ave in Smithers.
“We like to support local charities, so typically we’ll support the Smithers food bank through the Salvation Army community [and other] local causes we feel will make good use of the money
The project helps provide Christmas dinner to around 1000 people annually. As well, the program also provides toys and books to children 16 years and under.
Executive director of the SCSA Cathryn Olmstead said that the program runs on donations and that the earlier they can start getting the pot filled for the year, the better.
“This is our first donation of the year, [so] starting the christmas hamper program in May — that’s pretty good.”
Emerton said that the donation was made possible after a matching grant from MW Bro. Brian Burch, the Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge in B.C. and the Yukon, was made available to the local lodge.
According to Olmstead, in 2018 the SCSA provided close to 400 Christmas hampers to people in Smithers and Moricetown.
She adds that the program, like many of initiatives the SCSA spearheads, relies on local donations, sponsors and volunteers to help run the program.
SCSA is a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 1973.