Cloverdale residents are known for their generosity. But nothing prepared Kevin and Trish Lunder for the outpouring of support for the 20th annual Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program. The Lunders took the helm of the non-denominational charity food drive in 2011, but weren’t quite sure what to expect.
They needn’t have worried. Thanks to generous support from churches, businesses, schools, and individuals, more than 230 hampers were provided to needy families in the Cloverdale area last month as part of the 2011 campaign. More than 325 adults were helped, and 200 children.
“The Cloverdale community really pulled together to make this happen,” Kevin Lunder said, adding both he and Trish are extremely grateful to the sponsors, donors and volunteers.
“It will be easy next year,” says Trish, who’s raring to go for 2012. Volunteers ranged from Cub Scouts and Girl Guides to university students and staff. “We had 30 student teachers
from SFU show up one day,” Kevin said.
“Those 30 individuals just gave us such a kick start,” Trish added.
But they were blown away by the boy who emptied his piggy bank to help out, sending $100 and a Christmas card.
“I have saved my money from my allowance this year and would like to give it to you,” the card read. “I hope it can help somebody who needs it.” It was signed, “Sincerely, Jakob Thompson, Grade 5, Adams Road Elementary.”
Last week, the Lunders thanked Jakob in person. Jakob has donating his allowance to a worthy cause each year since he was six.
“I just like giving to people who don’t have money,” he explained, shrugging.
Now aged 10, he receives a weekly allowance of $8.
“I do chores, vacuuming,” said Jakob, whose favourite subjects are math and science. He has three piggy banks: one for saving, one for charity, and one for spending (Lego is a favourite).
When he learned his school, Adams Road Elementary, was collecting donations on behalf of the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program, he knew he had to help out.
According to Kevin Lunder, local schools play a vital role in the annual food drive. More than 50 per cent of all food donations in 2011 came from Clayton Heights and Lord Tweedsmuir secondary schools.
This was Adams Road Elementary’s first opportunity to participate, Principal Joanne Berka said. The school opened last January. Students, staff and parents really got behind the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program, collecting donations in bins stationed throughout the school.
The 2011 campaign brought in more than $50,000 in food and cash donations. Each hamper included non-perishable food and sundry items, vegetables, a turkey or ham, dairy products as well as toys or gift cards for children and youths, along with a grocery gift card for each family or individual to help carry them through the Christmas season.