Still time to help someone have a merry Christmas
Jane Reynolds, chair of the Ingersoll and District Inter-Church Committee and hamper coordinator, displays some of the gifts that have been donated for the committee’s 2017 hamper program. Donations of food, gifts – socks, gloves, books, toys, games etc. - and personal care items, including soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant, can still be dropped in boxes at local businesses and there are also kettles in the communities for cash contributions. JOHN TAPLEY/INGERSOLL TIMES
Registrations aren’t finished yet, but the Ingersoll and District Inter-Church Committee is set to provide 450 Christmas hampers to people in need this holiday, and there is still time to help out.
Containing non-perishable food, a turkey or a ham, 10 pounds of potatoes, apples, personal care products and a gift bag, the hampers go to people in Ingersoll, Embro, Thamesford, Putnam, Mt. Elgin, Salford, Beachville and points in between.
“It’s a lot of support that goes out,” said Jane Reynolds, chair of the committee and hamper coordinator.
Juice, peanut butter and pasta sauce are among the food in short supply, but donations of cereal, macaroni, crackers, cookies, stuffing, cake and pudding mixes and dried soup with a best before date of 2018 are also welcome.
Donations of food, gifts – socks, gloves, books, toys, games etc. - and personal care items, including soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant, can be dropped in boxes at local businesses and there are also kettles in the communities for cash contributions.
“Inter-Church, in order to function, we’re totally dependent on food, donations, gift donations and monetary donations,” Reynolds said, explaining that the hamper program wouldn’t be possible without support from the community and churches. “So many people help out in so many different ways.”
Work on the hamper program begins after Remembrance Day, and volunteers are already sorting donations at two locations in Ingersoll in preparation for packing by members of Unifor Local 88.
Between 35 and 40 volunteers, including Unifor members and Mt. Elgin firefighters, will be involved in distribution day on December 19.
Reynolds has been an Inter-Church volunteer for the past six years, becoming involved after hearing about the committee comprised of volunteers from local churches, in the news and making contact.
“It’s a bit of a mix in that it’s, for lack of a better word, sad that there’s a need for it, but it’s rewarding when you see the community come together,” she said. “It’s not just Inter-Church, it’s the whole community.”
Though she has never delivered hampers herself, Reynolds said she knows how much they are appreciated.
“I’ve heard lots of stories in terms of expressions on people’s faces and, I guess you could say, the joy that is experienced,” she said. “The delivery people always come back feeling really good that other people are happy.”
While it is best known for its hamper program, Inter-Church is active year-round, supporting people in need through an emergency financial assistance program, providing funding for utilities, rent and some medical and dental costs.
Reynolds said the committee has likely provided more than $40,000 in support to people in local communities this year, outside of the hamper program.
The committee also works with other charitable groups in providing that support.
“We’re constantly trying to think of how we can do things a bit better,” said Reynolds.
Donations to the committee may be made by cheque payable to the Ingersoll and District Inter-Church and mailed to56 Thames St. S. Ingersoll, ON, N5C 2S9.
The committee can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 519-933-7730.