Local Toy and Food Drive: getting ready to help those in need

The Christmas season is just around the corner and organizers from the Fort St. James Toy and Food Drive are busily preparing to help.

  • Nov. 30, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Barbara Latkowski

Caledonia Courier

The Christmas season is just around the corner and  organizers from the  Fort St. James Toy and Food Drive are busily preparing to help make the season brighter for local families in need.

The Fort St. James community is invited 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 various locations throughout Fort St. James including most businesses, shops, mills and the municipal office.

Jasmine Lakusta has been heading the operation for 6 years.

“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.

And students from Fort St James Secondary School are gearing up for the annual “Fill Up the Bus” which will begin on Dec. 7 on Sowchea Rd. It will then make its rounds around town on Dec. 8.

“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.”

“And we have a special Indian dinner planned to help raise funds also,” Lakusta said.

The dinner will take place on Dec. 7 at the North Arm Pub in Fort St. James.

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.

“This gives community members the opportunity to get together and to do something special for someone else. We are very lucky here because this community is always so supportive especially during the Christmas season,” Lakusta said.

If you would like to volunteer for the Toy and Food Drive, contact Tabitha Balfour at: (250) 863-2057.