Never too early to plan for Christmas charity

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The annual Christmas Angels hamper program at Big Lakes County returns.

Big Lakes County Family and Community Support Services (FCCS) is already accepting applications.

Applications started Oct. 1 to give people plenty of time to apply.

“We want to ensure everyone who needs a food basket can receive one,” FCSS manager Nicole Hanna says.

“Due to the high cost of food, the effects of COVID-19 and the impact they have had on income levels in the region, we’re expecting an increase in applications this year.

Eligible recipients within the county municipal boundaries appreciate the hampers, she says.

“It is our goal that every resident of the county enjoys food on the table and toys under the tree this Christmas,” Hanna says.

“None of this is possible without generous community support.”

In 2022, FCSS delivered 68 hampers.

In 2021, a total of 66 hampers were distributed to serve 169 people; 89 adults and 73 children.

In 2020, FCSS delivered 54 hampers for 75 adults and 57 children.

In 2019, FCSS distributed 61 hampers that served 83 adults and 72 children.

In 2018, FCSS delivered 48 hamper that served 98 adults and 56 children.

FCSS is accepting only monetary donations to buy food for Christmas dinner for the hampers and one toy for each child up to 17 years of age.

The program is based solely on donations.

“None of this is possible without generous community support,” Hanna says.

“We can provide only as many baskets as donations received.

“Donations of any amount can help us make a big difference right in our our community.”

Applications for hampers are being accepted until Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. No exceptions.

Donations and applications are accepted at all FCSS offices and county administration offices in High Prairie and Kinuso.

Applications must be completed with an FCSS worker to verify the required information before sending the application to the review committee.

Big Lakes County will issue official charitable donation receipts for income tax purposes.

Cheques may to payable to Big Lakes County and mailed to Big Lakes County; Box 239; High Prairie; AB; T0G 1E0.

For more information, phone the local FCSS office in High Prairie (780) 523-0062, in Joussard (780) 776-3811, in Grouard (780) 751-3806, in Enilda (780) 523-5925, in Faust (780) 355-3896, in the county office in Kinuso (780) 775-3666, or the main county office in High Prairie (780) 523-5955.

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