SUMMERSIDE – For years Sue Gallant and Eric Ferrish have worked to support Summerside families at Christmas time.
Now Alesia Desjardins is joining the team.
“I’m really excited to be a part of this year’s Kin campaign. I was sick for two years and I know what it feels like to be isolated. Now I’m able to give back.”
Desjardins added, “It’s heartbreaking to learn about the struggles some families are going through. We shouldn’t be in the state we are, but… we are. The Kin Appeal tries to help with that.”
Each year the Kin Appeal, by the Summerside Kinsmen and Kinettes, builds three to four Christmas hampers full of food and toys per family, for about 200 recipients.
The trio, along with Ray McCourt, are the co-chairs of this year’s campaign.
Gallant has been involved with the campaign for 17 years, while Ferrish has been involved for about 30.
“It’s all about the joy of giving,” said Gallant.
She continued, “It’s a passion for me. This is the best project I’ll ever get to be a part of. Each year we see a need for food and toys. We try to help with that.”
Ferrish added, “Each year we raise about $20,000 during our airtime run and then another $30,000 comes in in donations, food, toys and other accessories.”
He continued, “I remember one time, we were delivering to a house and we noticed that they had no Christmas tree. So we went back to the community centre, and hauled our tree that we had set up for our airtime show, and dropped it off to their house with the hampers.
“It’s all about the joy on the families’ faces when they receive their hampers and know they won’t have to worry this Christmas.”
This year’s Kin Appeal broadcast will take place on Dec. 4 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Wilmot Community Centre and can be seen on Eastlink channels 10 and 610.
Hampers will be distributed in mid-December.