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2013-12-18 at 17:00

Confident Cheer

By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
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With the last hampers going out Thursday, Christmas Cheer chairwoman Joleene Kemp is confident they'll get the donations needed.

"We're positive people," she said Thursday afternoon at the CLE Coliseum where volunteers were busy filing carts with groceries and toys for families in need this year.

So far, the campaign has raised $80,000 of it's $140,000 goal. That money helps cover cost of groceries to feed a family for a week, including a turkey and other trimmings.

"We're hoping people will step up and step forward," said Kemp, adding there is no deadline to contribute monetarily to Christmas Cheer.

Donations can be made at any local Scotiabank branch or the Christmas Cheer post office box.

And Kemp said any donation is welcome, no matter how large or seemingly small.
But people registered for a hamper have until 7 p.m. to pick it up.

"All those families who have registered with us who have not come to get their hampers, come on down, pick up your hamper because you don't want to disappoint your children," said Kemp.

Families picking up the hampers have been positive as well as patient, Kemp added.

"A lot of merry Christmases, a lot of hugs," she said. "People are really trying; it's just that right now it's hard...it's hard for them to be able to make ends meet."

Lori Kapush has been volunteering with Christmas Cheer for six years and said it's humbling to see the families leave with their hampers.

"You go home with stories of large, large families to my children and they can't quite believe because whenever they want something in the cupboard, it's there and not everybody has that advantage," she said.

Kapush said she came to help out a friend one year and has been back ever since to volunteer and often brings her family.

"I love it. I love the energy in the room. I love the volunteers. It's a good way to give back to the community," she said.



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