Squamish Community Christmas Care needs space

Organizers rushing to find a facility to organize supplies and hampers

Squamish Community Christmas Care organizers are looking for space — and they need it fast.

Christmas Care co-chair Rev. Karen Millard says that for the charity initiative to get off the ground, they must have 5,000 square feet of open space by November.

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This can be in either a single location or two 2,500-square-foot places nearby each other.

"It's critical," said Millard. "If we don't get the space, it's going to make the organizing and the putting together and the developing of the hampers near impossible."

Christmas Care, which is also co-chaired by Darcy Reimer, works by stocking up hampers with needed goods, such as food, toys and essential supplies.

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Christmas Care packages. - Courtesy Karen Millard

Organizers need plenty of open space to store the supplies, and, eventually, package them to be driven out to families in need.

A longstanding tradition now in its 39th year, Christmas Care handed out 292 hampers last year. It's a big effort, involving something to the tune of 200 volunteers throughout the season.

"Given the present economic situation, it is likely that we will be called upon to serve even more people this year, so your help is needed once again," organizers wrote on their webpage.

Last year, Christmas Care was given temporary space in the business park by the Bosa company.

However, that space has since become occupied, and the search for a new spot is ongoing, said Millard.

The space needs to be large, secure and easy access so people can safely store hampers and supplies and pick them up for delivery with ease.

Millard said they're always looking for volunteers to help out, especially during delivery day, which is Dec. 19.

She emphasized Christmas Care doesn't compete with the Squamish Food Bank but complements its efforts.

Businesses, can also help by collecting donations, Millard said.

Individuals and businesses who wish to help out can register at communitychristmascare.com.

For individuals and families in need, applications are also available online at communitychristmascare.com. Applications can also be found at local churches and service agencies such as Squamish Helping Hands, Howe Sound Women's Centre, and Sea to Sky Community Services.

"Thank you to the community for all that they have done to support Community Christmas Care over the years and we continue to hope it will be the heart of Christmas in Squamish," Millard said.

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