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The Kin Family in Summerside is continuing a long-standing tradition of helping families in need at Christmas time.
The service club, comprised of Kinsmen and Kinettes, recently announced it is now accepting applications for Christmas hampers. This is the 71st year the Kin Family has provided this service in Summerside.
“A lot of people need the help and what the hampers look like when they go out is amazing,” said Sue Gallant, who co-chairs the hamper program with Ray McCourt and Eric Ferrish. “People say they appreciate it so much.”
There has traditionally been a high demand for the hampers. That's not expected to change this year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, noted Gallant.
“Typically, there are well over 200 families we have been providing for over the last number of years,” said McCourt, who has seen an increase in demand in his 40-plus years of involvement.
“There is a lot of extra stress this year because of the COVID situation.”
Did You Know?
- The Kin Family in Summerside will hold its annual Christmas Appeal on Monday, Dec. 7.
- The money raised from the appeal supports the club’s Christmas hamper program, which is in its 71st year.
- All individuals interested in the program are asked to call co-chair Sue Gallant at 902-303-0135 or email committee member Alesia Desjardins at [email protected].
- Any individuals or businesses who wish to donate to the hamper program can contact Gallant.
The hampers include supplies for Christmas dinner and enough food to do families for close to a week, along with gifts. Gallant said the applications include contact information, how many people are in the households and how many kids are under the age of 16 and a couple of ideas of what they’d like for Christmas.
“We explain to them that we are not Santa Claus and cannot go and buy great big expensive gifts,” said Gallant. “We like to help out with the groceries and a few toys for the kids and that.”
Another change, due to COVID-19, is the distribution of the hampers. In past years, Kin Family members would deliver them to the families, but Gallant noted one possibility this year is a drive-thru set-up.
“We explain to them that we are not Santa Claus and cannot go and buy great big expensive gifts. We like to help out with the groceries and a few toys for the kids and that.”
- Sue Gallant
"When you get to see you have made someone’s Christmas a little bit happier," said McCourt, "it makes you feel good.”
Applications are currently being accepted. Anyone wishing to apply is encouraged to start the process by calling Gallant at 902-303-0135 or emailing [email protected] All information is confidential.
The Kin Family cross-references with other organizations offering similar programs.