The Christmas season is just around the corner and so is the Fort St. James Toy and Food Drive.
Organizers are already busy preparing to help make the season brighter for local families in need by asking the community to volunteer and to donate unwrapped toys and non-perishable food items.
The items can be left in donation boxes that have been placed in about 25 locations throughout Fort St. James including most businesses, shops, mills and the municipal office.
Jasmine Lakusta is heading the operation this year. “It takes a lot of preparation but it’s so worth it. We delivered 140 boxes last year and that is our goal this year,” Lakusta said.
For Lakusta, the drive could not be successful without its volunteers but more are needed this year to help wrap gifts and organize and sort food. Each box contains a turkey or ham, food and gifts.
“It’s been great so far. More people are coming on board this year which means more great ideas are coming out but we could always use more hands,” she said.
On Nov. 28, the North Arm Pub will be hosting a fundraiser for the drive that will include cocktails and appetizers. Those who attend can donate and enter raffles to help raise funds for the drive.
“Fill Up the Bus” will begin on Dec. 9 on Sowchea Rd. It will then make its rounds around town on Dec. 10.
“It’s amazing how much the community comes together for this,” Lakusta says. “Various logging companies such as Newlands, KDL and Ubleis take part by challenging each other to see who can raise the most.”
“We’re really thankful to those businesses who donate especially Overwaitea,” Lakusta said.
But for Lakusta, it’s the community as a whole who make a real difference and who make the Toy and Food Drive a success year after year.
“We just want this to be a positive experience for everyone, for volunteers and recipients,” Lakusta said.
“This is a much needed service. I know we won’t have trouble filling those boxes.”
If you would like to volunteer for the Toy and Food Drive, contact Judy Greenaway at: (250) 570-8484.