A record number of Community Christmas Hampers are expected to go out this holiday season and with that, the need for more donations.
The A Book Under Every Tree program, hosted by the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) Boundary office, will begin collecting donations of new and gently used children’s books this week (Nov. 12).
The donations, and new books purchased by CBAL with Reach A Reader funds, will be given to the hamper program on Dec. 6.
Last year, more than 300 books were included in the 170 hampers distributed to Boundary families.
“This year, more than ever, we have community members who need help making their Christmas brighter,” said CBAL Community Literacy Coordinator Erin Perkins. “Books bring great joy to all ages and I hope our small contribution of books to the Community Christmas Hamper program will make the holiday season a bit happier.”
Last week, Dennis Tournemille, Community Hamper Coordinator for the Gospel Chapel in Grand Forks, started taking hamper registrations at the Boundary Community Food Bank.
“Many parents were grateful when we touched on putting books into every toy bag we give out,” said Tournemille. “They are noticing their children really want a book to hold as their own, to build up their own library at home of those books they love to read and own. Many families did indeed lose all their possessions because of the flood and that meant books the children especially enjoyed. Some of these families are still in a state of temporary accommodation and will probably be that way for some time; books then become even more valued.”
“Books are an amazing thing to give at Christmas,” said Perkins. “They encourage quality family time and inspire creativity. A book is not for one person, but for the entire family.”
Adding to the collection efforts this year, CIBC in Grand Forks is hosting a Book Sale in the lobby of their branch. Adult and children’s books can be donated throughout November and December with all proceeds from the by-donation table going to the hamper program.
You can donate your gently used or new books for all ages to the A Book Under Every Tree program between Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. Look for the brightly wrapped boxes with the poster of a reading reindeer at the CIBC in Grand Forks, Selkirk College, Perley Elementary School and Hutton Elementary School.
The Gospel Chapel is also collecting cash donations for the hamper program. Donations can be made at the Gospel Chapel, 7048 Donaldson, or by calling 250-442-5148.
For more information about A Book Under Every Tree program, please contact Erin Perkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-442-2704 ext.6.
To donate books for the CIBC Book Sale, drop them off during business hours at CIBC or contact Leanne Haslam at 250-442-2181. The sale will continue throughout November and December.
Registration forms for the Community Christmas Hamper program are available at Whispers of Hope, all service agencies and schools. Tournemille will also be at the Boundary Community Food Bank every Tuesday to help fill out the forms.