Christmas Toy and Food Drive: another successful season for local volunteers

It was another successful Toy and Food Drive in Fort St. James as local volunteers busily prepared to help make the season brighter.

  • Jan. 11, 2017 3:00 p.m.

Students from Fort St. James Secondary School help 'fill the bus' for the local Toy and Food Drive.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

It was another successful Toy and Food Drive in Fort St. James as local volunteers busily prepared to help make the season brighter for local families in need.

This was the first year participating as a volunteer for Tabitha Balfour who recently moved from Kelowna in July.

“The Toy and Food Drive was a huge success,” Balfour said.

“It was amazing to see the generosity from this community. People responded instantaneously. They were generous with their time and their money. It’s a very giving community. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Balfour said.

This year, 160 boxes were delivered to local families.

“We service Nak’azdli Band and Fort St. James only,” Balfour said. “We all work together.”

Community members and local schools were eager to participate in the Drive.

“The high school kids filled up the bus again this year and along with individual classroom competitions, kids also helped with wrapping,” Balfour said.

“The Youth Ski & Snowboard Team also helped with last minute things and delivered left over items to the Food Bank.”

Balfour is looking forward to heading the operation again next year as she takes the reigns from her predecessor, Jasmine Lakusta.

Over the years, Lakusta has been thankful for all of the support the Drive has received.

“Whether it’s time or money, the community always steps up and makes things happen and it’s because of their support that the Toy and Food Drive is a success year after year,” Lakusta said.

For Balfour, another year of planning is already in the works.

“It’s quite a job but this coming year, we are hoping to get things rolling earlier,” Balfour said.

“We are going to begin meeting at the end of January for anyone interested in helping out this year.”

All in all, Balfour is thrilled with the response from the community.

“There are just too many people to thank. It’s such a generous community.”

For anyone interested in volunteering for the local Toy and Food Drive, contact Tabitha Balfour at: (250) 863-2057.


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