By ALAN SHACKLETON
Community Centre 55 is still in need of donations and volunteers as its Share A Christmas campaign counts down the last few days before this Saturday’s deliveries of hampers are made to the close to 1,000 families in the community who are in need of support this holiday season.
Debbie Visconti, executive director of Community Centre 55, said that donations of certain non-perishable food items are now very much in need as are volunteers to help with the massive delivery undertaking on Saturday, Dec. 22.
“We’re especially in need of non-perishable donations such as canned meat, cereals and pet food,” she said on Tuesday, Dec. 18, night during the first of this week’s packing and sorting sessions at Community Centre 55.
Lots of volunteers were at the centre, at 97 Main St., Tuesday evening to help get work started on the massive job of sorting and packing donations.
The volunteers were busy unloading bags and bags of food donations and sorting the items by type. There were countless jars of peanut butter, dried pasta and canned goods coming out of the bags which were being passed hand-to-hand from the centre’s basement into the main floor sorting room.
Visconti said the centre is extremely appreciative of all the volunteers who come out to help.
“We would not be able to do this without the volunteers,” she said. “We have hundreds of volunteers helping and we are moving literally tens of thousands of pounds of food.”
The remaining days volunteers are needed to help pack and sort non-perishable food at the centre are tonight (Dec. 19), and Thursday, Dec. 20 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
On Friday, Dec. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m., adult volunteers are needed to sort and pack toys at the centre. Organizers ask that children not volunteer for the Dec. 21 session.
Visconti said there’s a real need for help on Saturday, and drivers with vehicles to help make deliveries are much in demand. “We need people to drive on Saturday and help deliver the food.”
Along with the volunteer drivers who deliver the hampers, there’s a crew of teen elves who help distribute the hampers at apartment buildings and other large complexes that have a lot of recipients.
This is the 37th year for Share A Christmas and it’s vitally important for those who receive the hampers. Without them, they would not have a Christmas.
There’s also enough food in the hampers to help those who receive them last into the new year, added Visconti.
Also, Visconti said that on Sunday, Dec. 23 from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m., Community Centre 55’s doors will be open as they hold an Emergency Toy Clinic for families that cannot afford to buy toys for Christmas presents.