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2013-12-05 at 16:16

CAS launches Christmas gift campaign

By Jodi Lundmark,
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For Vierlyn Lunn and her family, Christmas is all about giving and family.

"If we had nothing under our tree and we had our family, that would be the greatest gift," said Lunn.

But not everyone is fortunate enough to have family or gifts during the holidays.

Lunn and her family have been volunteering for the Children's Aid Society of Thunder Bay for more than a decade. They help pick up the gifts from the organization's Christmas Wishes Gift Tree program and deliver the presents to families that would otherwise go without gifts under their trees.

"It's the total spirit of Christmas," Lunn said Thursday during the launch of CAS's gift campaign at the Memorial Avenue Wal-mart.

The generosity of the people of Thunder Bay causes a lot of faces to light up when the hampers are delivered, Lunn said.

"We have parents crying because they never expect people would be so generous to give so much," she said.

Story continues after video ...

The Christmas Wishes Gift Tree campaign is running all three local Wal-mart stores.

Shoppers can find gift tags on Christmas trees in the stores with a child's age and interests. Once they've purchased the gift, it can be dropped off with the gift tag in a bin by the tree and volunteers will pick them up to be wrapped and delivered to the children.

CAS Thunder Bay executive director Rob Richardson said they work with about 300 families and they hope to collect about 400 gifts this year.

"Christmas is a difficult time of the year for families who are on limited incomes," he said.

"(The campaign) provides an opportunity for them to get something they can give to their children at Christmastime."

Because the campaign started later than usual this year, Richardson said they'll be collecting gifts right up until Christmas Eve.

"This is a great way for the community to be involved and assist those families," he said.



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