SUMMERSIDE — Eric Ferrish expects that more families than ever will need help putting presents under the tree and Christmas supper on the table this year.
That’s why its important Islanders give what they can to this year’s Kin Family Christmas Appeal, said Ferrish, its co-chair.
The 63rd annual appeal goes Dec. 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. on Eastlink TV’s Channel 10.
Funds raised and items collected are used for Christmas hampers that the Kin Family put together to help Prince County families in need.
Last year, Summerside Kinsmen and Kinettes distributed close to 180 hampers.
“I think we will be seeing more seniors who need help this year,” said Ferrish.
Home base for the appeal is the Wilmot Community Centre. Roger Ahern is back again as anchor and Roy MacCaull as host of the three-hour telethon.
A long list of entertainers, including Alan Sonier, the Lady Slipper Dancers, the MacKinnon Family and Sandra and Ricky Jones, are giving their time to the appeal, which includes a visit from Santa and a live auction.
Already, items, including knitted socks, hats and mittens and snowsuits, are being dropped off, said appeal co-chair Sue Gallant.
Last year, including pledges, donated items and food, between $40,000 and $50,000 was raised. That amount and more will be needed to ensure that families in need have Christmas this year, said Ferrish.
“If it weren’t for the businesses and individuals that call in, we’re done for,” he added. “The demand keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
Kin members, along with anyone who wants to volunteer, will put the hampers together Dec. 19 at the Wilmot Community Centre.
Each hamper includes all the fixings for Christmas supper, gifts for each family member, cereal, juice and a few little treats.
Kin members deliver the hampers to families on their list on Dec. 21. The list is provided by the Summerside Salvation Army, which, this year, expects to receive more than 600 applications for Christmas hampers.
To make a donation during the on-air appeal, call 1-800-666-3543. Volunteers will pick up pledges and donations throughout the city on the night of the appeal.