June 21st, 2024

Women’s shelter relies solely on community donations for annual Christmas Hamper Program

By KENDALL KING on November 17, 2022.

kking@medicinehatnews.com@kkingmhn

Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society is seeking support from the community to ensure success of its Christmas Hamper Program.

Now in its 21st year, the program provides families and individuals impacted by family violence with gifts and a meal for Christmas.

“No one should have to choose between safety, paying rent or ensuring their child has a present under the tree, but that’s a choice that many fleeing family violence face,” MHWSS executive director Natasha Carvalho said.

“Those coming into shelter often arrive with just the clothes on their back and have limited financial means as they rebuild their lives after leaving shelter (so MHWSS wants to give) families the chance to build happy Holiday memories.”

Hampers include gifts for youth and adults, as well as a grocery gift cards, all of which are donated to MHWSS by the community.

“We always need kids’ toys like Lego, soccer balls, basketballs, board games, etc.,” said Carvalho. “And things for teenagers.

“We don’t have a lot of stuff in stock … so we’re really thanking our community (for their) generosity to fill up (our stock).”

Community support is all the more important, said Carvalho, as need for the hamper program has increased over the past two years. In 2020, the program served 110 adults and 154 children. In 2021, it served 137 adults and 181 children – with Carvalho expecting the program to serve similar numbers of individuals this year.

Community members interested in supporting are invited to donate new toys and gifts at two donation drop-off locations – Sun Valley Honda and David GMC Buick – from now through Dec. 20.

MHWSS is also appreciative of monetary donations, which can be made online at http://www.mhwss.ca, by e-transfer to info@mhwss.ca or by cheque.

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