The Fort Frances Kiwanis Club has made Christmas a more joyous time of the year for those who are less fortunate through the local Salvation Army's “Adopt-a-Family” program.
The club, which has been doing this annually for more than a decade, was able to “adopt” 10 families through the program this year.
“I love doing this," said Kiwanian Diane Maxey. "It's my favourite thing to do at Christmas for the community.”
The families are selected by the Salvation Army based on who needed Christmas hampers the most.
“They screen the families so we know the needy are being looked after,” noted Maxey.
Each of the 10 families received $100 in groceries and $150 from the Kiwanis Club through the program.
“The program doesn't just put presents under their tree,” echoed fellow Kiwanis member Karla-Marie Rogozinski.
"We fill their bellies, as well, for a few days.
“And everybody gets the same kind of food, so we know that they have a healthy Christmas, too, from what we buy because we're very careful of what we choose,” she added.
Club members purchase everything the families would need for a Christmas dinner, as well as some other items to enjoy over the holidays, such as turkey, potatoes, cranberries, candy, bacon, eggs, juice, milk, cheese, coffee, and dessert.
The toys are requested by the families and they specify their child's age, gender, size, and the type of gifts they would like.
“It doesn't mean that they get everything they want but we try our best,” Maxey said.
The club members shop around the district to find the best deals for the families and get the most bang for their buck.
“We try to price watch so we can do the best for our people,” Maxey explained.
This year, for instance, they were able to secure turkeys for 99 cents a pound.
The hampers of gifts and food were packed last Thursday and distributed to the families that same day.
Maxey, meanwhile, is thankful to the community for its continued support of the program.
“This is a hugely giving community," she lauded. "They're very generous.”
Maxey already is looking forward to helping with the program again next Christmas.