Volunteers of all ages took part in the Creston Ministerial Association’s annual Christmas hamper packing on Dec. 16, 2019. Photo: Brian Lawrence

Volunteers of all ages took part in the Creston Ministerial Association’s annual Christmas hamper packing on Dec. 16, 2019. Photo: Brian Lawrence

An Update on Creston’s Ministerial Hamper Program

“As your local ministerial association and hamper board, we have been hard at work trying to figure out how we can continue to carry out the Hamper Program this year. … That being said, we have made great headway and have a plan that will be able to meet the needs of our community this Christmas season.”

By Hermen Koehoorn, president of the Ministerial Association of Creston and pastor at New Life Church

This is a follow-up article to the initial one written by Aaron Hemens just over a month ago. The intention of this article is to give an update on where we are at for this year’s Ministerial Hamper Program.

Off the top, I want to give a big shout out to how amazing our community really is. Even in these difficult times with so many dynamics at play for everyone, the heart and generosity of this community for others who are dealing with extra hardships for a variety of reasons is AMAZING.

As your local ministerial association and hamper board, we have been hard at work trying to figure out how we can continue to carry out the Hamper Program this year. As Aaron mentioned in his earlier article, due to COVID-19, we are having to be creative in our approach. In essence, reinventing how things will work this year. That being said, we have made great headway and have a plan that will be able to meet the needs of our community this Christmas season.

READ MORE: Creston’s Christmas hamper program shifting to gift card care packages due to COVID-19

There are so many who have already spent countless hours thinking, brainstorming and meeting that I am not going to try to specifically mention any names but you know who you are. Then there has been the amazing generosity of Creston Valley Gleaners Society who has donated over $20,000 worth of goods to make it possible for us to give each hamper recipient a tangible boxed hamper to take home with them. Thank you, Gleaners.

Then there are numerous businesses and individuals who have already given monetarily and I know there will be more. What an amazing display of love and care for each other. We also want to thank principal Brian Hamm and Prince Charles Secondary School (PCSS) for their efforts, of which one of those was making our fundraising thermometer which is placed by the digital PCSS sign across from 7/11 and will keep you up to date in regards to donations received.

So you might ask, where are we at to date? Well, we are close to finalizing the entire plan as it comes to the day of distribution and the details that need to be in place to make this a successful day. However, there are still some pieces that need to come together for this to work.

First, even though the generosity of our community to date has been amazing, we are still needing additional funds to be able to supplement the physical hamper box with a gift card. To date, we have raised approximately $28,500, but our goal is $50,000 so we have a bit to go.

If you have the ability to give please do so, it would really help. Giving can be done in a few ways and you would receive a donation receipt if you supply your name and mailing information. Thank you, Erin Carr and Apex Accounting, for volunteering your time in this area.

  • Ministerial website and click on the donate tab – www.crestonvalleyministerial.com
  • Mail – Creston Valley Ministerial Hampers, PO Box 753, Creston BC V0B 1G0
  • Contact Free at Apex Accounting – 122, 11 Ave. N., Creston – place in dropbox during business hours (Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

We will also be adding updates regularly to the ministerial Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Creston-Valley-Ministerial), so please like the page and you should receive notifications of any news. Unlike previous years we won’t be able to use the mass of volunteers that we used to.

This year we will be outdoors and we will be using the RDCK Recreation Centre parking lot (thank you RDCK for the use of this space) as a staging area with the actual distribution happening in a drive-thru fashion in the Holy Cross Catholic Church parking lot. More details on how things will flow and what times to come will come closer to the distribution date which has been set for Wednesday, Dec. 16.

If you are in need of a hamper this year you can contact the food bank or one of the churches in town. The registration deadline for a hamper will be Dec. 1.

Once again thank you for your heart and generosity for our community this year. Let’s continue to make Creston a better place by helping each other wherever and whenever we can.

On behalf of the Ministerial Association of Creston,

Hermen Koehoorn

READ MORE: Sue’s Clotheslines hosting eighth annual silent auction for Creston’s Christmas hampers program

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