Mount Currie has a population of 1,200 and an unemployment rate of 80 per cent. The majority of the population are under 25, children mainly between the ages of five and 12. An impressionable age group who need toys for mind development that often their families cannot afford.
"We need lots of donations," said Rachel Andrew, co-ordinator for the Lil’wat Christmas Bureau. "It’s the same people who donate every year, and hardly any new people. We’re asking around and looking for other companies to donate in a silent auction or raffle, and we welcome fund-raising ideas.
"Last year we made it, it was stressful, but we just made it. We’ve always been able to fill the hampers."
The Lil’wat Christmas Bureau annually aims to fill 130 hampers for Mount Currie. The hampers are distributed to 35 homes of the elderly, 100 families with more than three children, and single parents — virtually anybody who can’t afford to buy Christmas dinner or toys for their children.
Hampers are filled by volunteers with the basic components of a Christmas dinner such as, turkey, potatoes, rice, vegetables, oranges, coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
"There are a lot of people here who can’t afford to give their children gifts," says Andrew. "And as of yet, we haven’t had any outrageous requests."
This year Andrew is asking for gift donations such as CDs and T-shirts, instead of the ever-popular baby toys.
In Whistler, food and toy donations can be dropped off at the North Shore Credit Union and Revolution Salon and Spa.
Stl’atl’imx Silent auction
It’s that Silent Night time of year again so how about a silent auction? The Mount Currie First Nation will be hosting a silent auction on Dec. 5 at the Xit’olacw Community School in Mount Currie between noon and 6 p.m. The Christmas present possibilities are endless.
There are already confirmed donations from silver carvers Derek Wilson, Barry Wilson and Kelvin Thompson and basket weaver Vera Edmonds as well as many other valuable items.
Alongside the silent auction there will be a fashion show, reception and drumming and dancing. All money raised from this event will go towards the annual Stl’atl’imx Nations Declaration Day Celebration which will be held in May, 1999.