HOL and the community makes Christmas come alive for many

Above, Through House of Lazarus, and with the help of many throughout the neighbouring communities, the 2018 Christmas season saw 56 singles and/or couples, 78 families, and 17 seniors from HOL’s food bank receive gifts and food supplies for the holiday, some including gas cards, grocery cards, pet food and more. In addition, more than 235 gifts were given out through the Angel Tree program. Pictured is a tiny fraction of the items collected and disbursed to food bank cli- ents. Close to 10 Emergency Food Bank Boxes were donated through the Reverse Advent program. Courtesy photo

MOUNTAIN— With the help of generous neighbouring communities, House of Lazarus (HOL)’s 2018 Christmas season saw food bank families gifted with food, as well as presents for under the tree.

Each year, HOL client services manager Kim Merkley takes on the enormous task of coordinating several Christmas programs for food bank clients, relying on the community — service groups, individuals, businesses, and more — to help put food on the table and presents under the tree for the holiday. The 2018 season saw 56 singles and/or couples, 64 families, and 17 seniors receive gifts and food supplies for the Christmas season, some including gas cards, grocery cards, pet food and more. In addition, more than 119 gifts were given out through the Angel Tree program.

“People are so generous,” Merkley said. “I was amazed by the number of people, businesses and community groups contacting me to find out how they could help. It was inspiring and it confirmed what we see every day at House of Lazarus: people care about their neighbours.”

The local food bank also accepted donations of close to 10 Emergency Food Bank Boxes through its Reverse Advent Program. The boxes, which contained 24 food items, were ready for dispersal to food bank clients facing a food emergency during HOL’s annual shutdown from December 21 to January 2.

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