YOU SAID IT

Mak­ing sure ev­ery child has presents on Christ­mas morn­ing

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAR­RELL COLE dar­rell.cole@amher­st­news.ca Twit­ter: @ADN­dar­rell

“Gen­er­ally, we pre­pare for any­where be­tween 500 and 600 chil­dren.”

- Phil Bax­ter re­fer­ring to how busy the Christ­mas for Kids pro­gram in Amherst is.

Phil Bax­ter never knows how busy Christ­mas for Kids is go­ing to be.

As the pro­gram pre­pares for its 25th year, the vet­eran mem­ber of the Amherst Lions Club, which is the co-or­di­nat­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion, Bax­ter said last year was qui­eter than pre­vi­ous years. That doesn’t mean it will be quiet this year.

“Gen­er­ally, we pre­pare for any­where be­tween 500 and 600 chil­dren,” said Bax­ter. “Some years the num­ber is up; some years it’s down.”

Last year, the pro­gram helped just over 520 chil­dren, com­pared to more than 600 in 2016.

Bax­ter ad­mit­ted it wouldn’t sur­prise him to see the num­bers climb again this year.

“Times are tough and the econ­omy re­ally hasn’t im­proved that much,” Bax­ter said. “It could be a busy year, but you never know. We aim to be pre­pared for it to be very busy.”

Christ­mas for Kids pro­vided gifts for 615 chil­dren in 2016 - a jump from 562 in 2015. It also took re­fer­rals for 541 food boxes, in­clud­ing 392 in Amherst and 149 in Cum­ber­land County.

This is the Amherst Lions Club’s fourth year co-or­di­nat­ing the pro­gram since tak­ing over from Jean Miller and her group of vol­un­teers. It oper­ated the 2014 pro­gram with Miller be­fore tak­ing over in 2015.

Springhill has its own Christ­mas pro­grams.

Christ­mas for Kids phone line - 902-667-1949 - will be open Mon­day, Nov. 13 and will op­er­ate Mon­day to Thurs­day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through­out Novem­ber, and Mon­day to Fri­day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in De­cem­ber un­til Dec. 7 when re­fer­rals will no longer be taken.

Par­ents can pick up gifts for their chil­dren from Dec. 10 to 14, and then the pro­gram will close for an­other year.

Once again, peo­ple can also make gro­cery box re­quests via the Christ­mas for Kids line, al­though that or­ga­ni­za­tion does not han­dle the food or food do­na­tions.

Also, an­gel trees will be up in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions around Cum­ber­land County next week in­clud­ing at Dayle’s Grand Mar­ket, Sco­tia­bank branches in Ox­ford and Pugwash, the Pugwash Co-op, Dairy Queen, Arch­way In­surance, Amherst Phar­masave, Com­mu­nity Credit Union, the Ar­ti­sans Mar­ket in the Amherst Cen­tre mall, the Cum­ber­land Re­gional Health Care Cen­tre and at the Christ­mas for Kids head­quar­ters in Amherst Cen­tre.

The value of an­gel gifts is $40 and vol­un­teers will add items to each gift bag, in­clud­ing toys, choco­lates and other items.

Fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions can be made at the Christ­mas for Kids of­fice or by mail to Christ­mas for Kids, c/o Phil Bax­ter, 1925 High­way 6, True­manville, N.S. B4H 3Y2.

Re­ceipts for monetary do­na­tions will be is­sued and the cen­tre is also look­ing for do­na­tions of knit­ted items.

Bax­ter said the pro­gram gets lots of sup­port from the com­mu­nity while the head­quar­ters is do­nated by the mall man­age­ment.

DAR­RELL COLE – AMHERST NEWS

Bar­bara and Phil Bax­ter hold up the Christ­mas for Kids sign as the or­ga­ni­za­tion pre­pares for its 25th an­nual cam­paign that makes sure ev­ery child in Cum­ber­land has a gift un­der the tree on Christ­mas morn­ing. The pro­gram will be­gin tak­ing re­quests on Nov. 12 and con­tinue un­til Dec. 7. The Christ­mas for Kids num­ber, which also ac­cepts food box re­quests, is un­changed at 902-667-1949.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.