Updated: Feb 10, 2022
By Miriam Roopanram, Community Care & Social Service Worker
This year, I was given the opportunity to be the lead event coordinator for our Christmas Hamper Initiative. Our goal was to match individuals and families with sponsors who would create a ‘gift hamper’. It would include items that these families need, such as grocery gift cards, clothing, winter accessories, and even toys for Christmas. At the beginning of the process, I remember feeling anxious and worried that we wouldn’t get enough hampers for these families. As a former recipient of a similar program, I knew what a blessing this program can be. My driving desire was to help as many families that we had the capacity to help, and make an otherwise bleak Christmas a joyful one!
I’m proud to say that through a strong collaborative effort; we were able to give close to 200 families a Christmas worth remembering! In a time of increasing COVID-19 restrictions and fears, we had a fierce crew of 15 volunteers who helped keep this lil’ Elf station running safely throughout the day. I can’t forget to mention the 18 Drivers who delivered hamper across North York during the first snowstorm of the season! Last, but certainly not least: this entire initiative wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for our 139 sponsors. I was
awestruck as I watched these gorgeous and full hampers fill the space, and again as it slowly emptied out later. It’s times like these that showcase the support, care and love that exists within the Willowdale area, and it was incredible to witness.
Special Thanks go out to Northview Heights Secondary School, Earl Haig Secondary School, York Mills Oxford Learning Centre, Tyndale University, Duca Financial Services, We Run North York, Scotiabank (Empress Walk), RBC (Yonge/Lawrence), Pure Motion Centre, and Intercept, Re/max Team Rajpal Realty, and J.Man Real Estate for their support this Holiday Season!