Lions Hamper program receives overwhelming response this season

·2 min read

We are indeed living in a generous community.

The Alliston Lions Club annual Christmas Hamper program was again a big success as members of the community came together to support the Lions' Stuff a Bus and Stuff a Cruiser events.

The Stuff a Bus event took place at three locations around town on Saturday, November 28, with members of the Lions Club and fire fighters from the New Tecumseth Fire Department collecting food donations for needy families in the region. The bus was donated by Landmark Bus Lines.

They partnered with the O.P.P. Nottawasaga detachment the following weekend for the Stuff a Cruiser event when they asked for toy donations for children who may not otherwise receive a gift this holiday season.

The public responded and both events received an overwhelming response from people eager to donate.

The Lions were working hard over the weekend to get everything sorted and delivered.

“Distribution started Thursday evening and we are hoping to wrap up on Saturday with a few stragglers on Monday,” explained Hamper program chair Mike Jerry. “We partnered with Landmark Bus Lines, New Tecumseth fire fighters, the Alliston fire hall, and for Stuff a Cruiser with the Nottawasaga O.P.P. Then we did the Lion Jim Kenn Memorial Food Drive with our friends at the Everett Fire Fighters Association in Everett. We collected enough food for 152 families – over 300 children. We have toys for over 300 children.”

To keep safe, the Lions and their partners are distributing the toys and food by doing a 'porch drop.'

The Lions find out about needy customers through the Food Bank, the schools, churches, and local social services. They learn about the families including how many members and children there are so they can put together an appropriate donation.

Around 90 people including Lions members, fire fighters and police took part in the program.

“We are a community in real economic peril and stress,” Mr. Jerry said of the amount of people who are in need this year. “You see it first hand. We are still accepting monetary donations.”

The generosity of the community will help some families have a nice Christmas dinner as well as bring some joy to children who may not have found anything under the tree this season.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times