Coming through for charities 

Food banks and Christmas hamper organizers report generous donations through December

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - HOLIDAY CHEER Jackie Dickinson of Whistler Community Services Society assembled 25 holiday hampers for families in financial need this year.
  • Photo by John French
  • HOLIDAY CHEER Jackie Dickinson of Whistler Community Services Society assembled 25 holiday hampers for families in financial need this year.

This is the season for giving and people throughout Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor are remembering not just their own families and friends but also those in need.

The Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) is preparing to deliver Christmas hampers to 25 families in Whistler on Saturday, Dec. 22. The coordinator of the hamper program, Jackie Dickinson, said Whistler has responded amazingly to help make it a merry Christmas for everyone in the community.

"In the last week the response by businesses has been overwhelming, overwhelming," she said from the WCSS office at Spring Creek.

A Lululemon employee called to tell Dickinson that the store wanted to buy warm jackets and mitts for each child in the hamper program.

"Amazing," said Dickinson. "They dropped it off today and I'm looking at this stuff just overwhelmed because what's so great about that is quite a few families have identified that their primary needs are warm clothes for their kids. That is such a big piece to living in this community. We celebrate snow here, we celebrate winter and for families who are dealing with financial restrictions and budgets the wear and tear on those clothes becomes a huge issue."

She added that Cows has donated T-shirts for most of the hampers.

Dickinson said more than enough toys were donated so two school counsellors from Mount Currie will pick up excess toys from WCSS to include in the hampers for Mount Currie families.

Through Pique Newsmagazine and the Community Foundation of Whistler SHARE initiative a touching story of generosity emerged when body paint artist Nina Moore made a $50 donation to the WCSS. This on its own isn't such a big deal but the story behind the $50 demonstrates the power of the giving spirit during the holiday season.

Grade 3 student Jayden Richer won two hours of face painting from Moore. Instead of using the prize at her birthday party she decided to have Moore attend the annual Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) staff picnic at Rainbow Park. Jayden's mom, Nicholette, works for the RMOW in the environmental stewardship department.

"I painted about 60 or 70 kids at the RMOW party, instead of just 10 or 11 at Jayden's party," said Moore.

As Moore painted faces at the summer picnic, parents were leaving tips.

"I just felt really uncomfortable keeping it because Jayden had won the prize and she donated it," Moore said. "I felt that the $50 was probably hers more than mine."

Moore felt equally uncomfortable with giving the money to a child of only eight years so she decided to hold on to the money until the Pique's SHARE Whistler program launched at the end of November. On the first day of the campaign, Moore donated the tip money to WCSS.

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