There might not be any white stuff in the air (or on the ground) and, for some, it may be too early to starting thinking of the Christmas season, but we’re hoping it won’t be too early for people to get into the mood to give.
This is the fifth year for the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund and we’re very proud to be able to continue the tradition started by Gregg Drinnan and the Kamloops Daily News.
The KTW Christmas Cheer Fund raises money every year for five important charities and non-profits in Kamloops during what is, for many of them, one of their most vital seasons.
“I got to see this at the Kamloops Daily News before,” said Tim Shoults, operations manager of Aberdeen Publishing, KTW’s parent company.
“I got to work with Gregg Drinnan, the person who created the fund for Kamloops, and I’ve seen the amazing way that the community comes together for it.
“It absolutely warms my heart and it’s wonderful that we’re able to create this opportunity for our readers to give.”
The Y Women’s Emergency Shelter has been included in the Cheer Fund every year since its inception, a stipulation made by Drinnan, who initially donated all money to the shelter.
As the fund generated more money through the years, Drinnan decided to include more charities as recipients.
Charities like the Out of the Cold winter homeless shelter, which provides beds for the Kamloops homeless community during the coldest days of the year, days when frostbite is a very real danger.
“We provide them a bed,” said co-ordinator Renee Stein.
“We provide clothing, toiletries, supportive emotional care. We provide them food, as much as they can eat all night long.”
The Kamloops Brain Injury Society is also a recipient this year. The society works with people suffering from the life-changing impacts of everything from car accidents to strokes.
They also work with the families of those affected.
“We wanted to help both the survivors understand what happened to them, but also the families so that they can provide that extra support,” said society executive director Dave Johnson.
Also receiving funds is the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops’ Falcon Program, which teams up with the Ministry of Children and Family Development, TRU and the Kamloops-Thompson school district to work with children who, because of traumatic events in their personal life, can not participate in the regular school curriculum for more than an hour or two a day.
“I think the challenge is that it’s not like they just struggle at school or they’re just struggling at home,” said Kerry Woehle, manager of programs at Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops.
“It’s like they struggle in all parts of their life.
“And, so, if we’re able to help them build coping skills and help the parents understand how to best respond and support their child, then it’s just more successful for everybody.”
The final non-profit to receive money from the Cheer Fund in 2018 is the Mustard Seed New Life Community.
It is planning to use the funds to expand and upgrade its kitchen, which will allow the organization to feed even more people coming through their door.
In the weeks to come, we’ll be shining a spotlight on these various charities, on the work they do and how they plan to use money raised in the Cheer Fund.
Of course, we can’t even begin to do this work without your generosity.
To learn more and to donate online, go to kamloopsthisweek.com/cheer.