The Williams Lake Tribune is gearing up for its annual food and toy drive taking place this Saturday, Dec. 1.
From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. donations for the Salvation Army will be accepted at the Tribune’s office at 188 First Ave. North.
Kathy McLean, the Tribune’s publisher, said it’s hard to believe this will be the 16th annual food and toy drive.
“We invite all our loyal readers to come down with non-perishable food items or a great new toy for a girl or a boy for Christmas!” she said. “Don’t forget the teenagers as well when you are picking out a gift. The Salvation Army will be here with their loading van and our goal this year is to fill it to the roof.”
McLean said the food and toy drive is extra special as many of the Tribune’s incredible clients generously donate gift cards and gift certificates that are hand-picked off of the Tribune’s Christmas tree as a thank you for donating food and toys to the Salvation Army this holiday season.
Salvation Army executive director Dawn Butt said the food bank is in need of canned ham, tuna and salmon, pasta sauces, canned vegetables and fruit, jams, juices, Ramen noodles and side dishes.
“It has been busy with a steady increase this year,” she said of the food bank’s use. “The stories of people coming in vary from not being able to find work or being laid off.”
As for toys, Butt said the Salvation Army is always in need of gifts for teens.
“They always get left out,” she added.
When asked for suggestions for teen-appropriate gift donations Butt listed remote control cars, makeup, hair accessories and art supplies.
This year 551 adults and 229 children are on the application forms to receive gifts from the Salvation Army and the gifts will be distributed on Dec. 18 and 19.
“Williams Lake has been great so far in making donations to us, but we could use some more volunteers for our Christmas kettles, which kick off on Thursday, Nov. 29,” Butt said. “They can phone me at 250-267-5032.”
The kettles will be located at the BC Liquor Store, The Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Canada Safeway, Save-on-Foods, Walmart and new this year — 7-Eleven. The hours are 12 to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 12 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
McLean reminded everyone the downtown businesses will be busy on Saturday celebrating the Winter Lights Festival with family fun festivities happening from 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., with the parade at 5 p.m.
“We look forward to seeing many familiar faces and some new ones,” McLean said. “Williams Lake citizens are truly the best and we have proof every year at this time. Please come and help those that are less fortunate and together we can make someone’s life a little brighter.”