Oliver families need you to ‘Share the Spirit’

Oliver families need you to ‘Share the Spirit’

Share the Spirit Coordinator June Reynolds is just as excited as the kids as she prepares to make another family's Christmas a happy one. (File photo)

By Benita Baerg

More than 50 vulnerable families and only 36 sponsors equals a lot of sad kids in Oliver this Christmas.

With less than a month to go, kids all over town are joyfully and excitedly counting down the sleeps until the big day.

The Kiwanis Club of Oliver needs your help to make sure that Oliver’s most vulnerable kids get to celebrate the season too.

For many years, our local Kiwanis Club has run “Share the Spirit”, a gift-giving program that matches sponsors (individuals, families or groups) with families in need.

We’re desperately short of sponsors this year. Last year, we matched sponsors with 46 families in need. The need keeps growing: this year, we expect more than 50 families to qualify for sponsorship. So far, only 36 sponsors have stepped forward. If we can’t find more, kids from more than a dozen vulnerable families could find the Christmas season bleak and gift-less.

You can be a sponsor, or you and your family, you and some friends, you and some colleagues. Sponsoring is a meaningful way to support community; a great opportunity to think about what really matters at Christmas, and a huge learning opportunity for kids.

Sponsors are given a family-specific wish list, focused mostly on gift ideas for the children in your adopted family. The financial commitment can be whatever you feel able to offer. All gifts must be dropped off at the Air Cadet hangar on Saturday, Dec. 14 and will be delivered by volunteer drivers to sponsored families on Sunday, Dec. 15.

All families chosen for sponsorship are carefully screened and referred by the food bank, Desert Sun counselling services, the Oliver Boys and Girls Club or a local school. Many of the sponsored families are single parents; some are physically or mentally compromised and unable to work, and many are making minimum wage and struggling to get by. All are sponsored anonymously.

Show us your heart, Oliver! Please volunteer today to help Share the Spirit! We are trying to confirm all sponsors by Monday, December 2.

For more information or to sign up, call June at 250 498 3264 or email Benita at mbbaerg@telus.net.