More than 130 Ponoka families and individuals are going to have a more festive Christmas this year thanks to the help of Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC) students.
Seventy-five hampers full of turkeys, food and presents were delivered to families Thursday, Dec. 17 and more than 60 individual baskets of ham and other food items were delivered by PSC students who took part in the Santa’s Anonymous campaign.
Heading the campaign was Karen David, who said there was a large amount of cash donations this year, which helped considering they were down in food. Money from the Stuff-a-Bus campaign and other areas helped ensure that less fortunate Ponoka residents were able to have something for the holiday.
Each year the need changes and David said 2015 showed a strong need partly due to the economy. “We did expect it to be a little higher this year … We actually had to make up a couple extras and people were still phoning today.”
PSC students were kept busy throughout the week leading up to delivery and David said many PSC students and classes helped out. “We’ve had lots of kids come and help. It’s amazing.”
Rebecca Wesner and Nikki Smith, both Grade 12 students, have helped wrap presents over the years and this year is the first time they delivered hampers.
“Overall, it’s an amazing thing to do because this is a tough time of year for families who don’t have as much,” explained Smith.
Wesner credited David and other organizers for ensuring the process goes smoothly. One thing that struck Wesner the most this year was during the packing stage. Students were given lists of the ages of the kids, but not their names, who needed presents and some of those kids were the same age as Wesner.
“They’re still getting a Christmas,” said Wesner.
For Smith, what stood out the most was also those who donated food, toys and money to the cause.